Region: Fort Ross-Seaview, Sonoma County, California
Varietal: 100% Pinot Noir
Tasting notes: V
iolet, lavender and boysenberry aromas emerge from the glass, along with cherry, plum, dried herbs and fennel seed. A silky entry, lush body and creamy notes on the finish are juxtaposed by lively acidity, bringing a beautiful tension to the wine. This is a wonderfully complete Pinot Noir, a combination of focus and finesse, and it has a subtle power that will carry this vintage for many years.
Producer: After nearly 30 years as an acclaimed Napa Valley vintner Jayson Pahlmeyer became increasingly entranced by the wines of Burgundy. “Every oenophile eventually gravitates to the wines of Burgundy,” he says. In the early 1990s, Jayson began seeking out the finest Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vineyards in the world. When the then Wayfarer farm was listed their for sale in 1998, winemaker Helen Turley quickly took notice. Her own vineyard, Marcassin, was just down the road and Helen understood well the extraordinary character of fruit this land could yield. Helen also knew that it was her good friend and fellow vintner Jayson Pahlmeyer who possessed the vision and tenacity needed to transform the rugged landscape into a world-class vineyard. Wayfarer vineyard was planted by David Abreu in 2002, and in 2005, Jayson started blending Wayfarer Pinot Noir and Chardonnay with fruit from Russian River vineyards and bottling it under the Pahlmeyer moniker. By 2012, the vineyard’s exceptional fruit presented an irrefutable case for a namesake label. With Jayson’s daughter, Cleo Pahlmeyer at the helm, Wayfarer is an endeavor of true passion – an experiment that pushes the exactitude of winegrowing and winemaking to the farthest limits.
Vineyard and Winemaking:The 2017 Pinot Noir comes from all 11 clones grown on the Wayfarer property. The team hand-picked each block and delivered firm, cool clusters to the winery before sunrise. They then hand-sorted the fruit and reserved 4% for whole-cluster fermentation. The remainder of the fruit was destemmed before transferring to tank, where five to seven days of cold maceration preceded more than two weeks of 100% native yeast fermentation. The free run wine was transferred to 53% new French oak for 15 months of aging.
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