After 30 years as an acclaimed Napa Valley vintner—Jayson Pahlmeyer sought out the finest Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vineyards in the world. He found it at Fort-Ross Seaview on the Sonoma Coast. The vineyard was first discovered by Helen Turley and planted by David Abreu. The vineyard is extraordinary and unforgiving–30 undulating acres hidden beyond rising fog and redwoods on a remote reach of the Sonoma Coast.
Helen Turley and her husband, viticulturalist John Wetlaufer, brought Jayson to the farm to survey the site and, for Jayson, it was an epiphany: the cool sea air tempering the brilliant sun, the Goldridge soil casting a dusty glow on the dirt road and the weathered bones of wooden fences marking off the undulating fields—a thick forest of redwoods to the east and fog-blanketed bluffs to the west. Jayson instantly sensed that this secluded place held all the essential elements to produce exceptional Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Helen declared it destined to be “the La Tache of California” as Jayson claimed the land for his own.
JD97 The 2017 Chardonnay Wayfarer Vineyard comes from a handful of clones and saw 65% new barrels. It’s a riveting Chardonnay that offers notes of caramelized citrus, honeysuckle, toasted brioche, and scorched earth. Rich, medium to full-bodied, with bright acidity, this beautiful, layered, elegant wine builds with time in the glass. Elegance and purity are the buzzwords, but it has depth and length.
WE95 This stunning wine impresses vintage to vintage and 2017 is no exception. Golden apple, pear and honey fig highlight a fleshy, sumptuous and lush texture of nuanced acidity and oak, the fruit estate grown above ocean fog. Spicy nutmeg, cardamon and a hint of ginger round out the complex fruit and structure.
WA95 The 2017 Chardonnay Wayfarer Vineyard has pure scents of yellow apple, Meyer lemon and white peach, accented by crème fraîche, crushed stone, fresh hay and almonds with nuances of nutmeg and toast. Medium-bodied and creamy textured, it explodes with expansive flavor layers, with wonderful texture to counter the bright, juicy acidity and a long, honeyed finish. I can’t wait to taste this after another year or two in bottle! 800 cases produced.