Limited new release from Pahlmeyer's new Sonoma Coast vineyard.
Wayfarer is Jayson Pahlmeyer's powerhouse Pinot Noir project and a cult in the making, just down the road from Helen Turley's Marcassin Vineyards. With 15 months in 45% new French Oak you’ll find heaps of bright strawberry jam, lilacs, and spice dancing across your nose. With firm tannin and a long, supple finish, this is going to blow your mind.
97 Points Jeb Dunnuck: "Leading off the Pinot Noirs, the 2016 Pinot Noir Wayfarer Vineyard was completely destemmed and spent 15 months in 45% new French oak. It offers a bright framboise, cranberry, exotic flower, and spice-driven bouquet that carries to a medium-bodied, silky Pinot Noir that has everything in all the right places. Showing more floral, spice, and forest floor with time in the glass, incredible tannin quality, and a great finish, it’s certainly on par with the single parcel/clone driven releases."
Robert Parker: "...One of the most impressive vineyard visits I’ve made this year was to the Wayfarer Vineyard in Sonoma Coast’s relatively newly formed Fort Ross-Seaview AVA (established in 2011). I cannot say that I’ve seen a happier looking vineyard in a long time, and by “happy” I refer to the immaculately trimmed, healthy, vivid green vines supporting well-balanced canopies and crop loads. And what a site! Apart from being incredibly remote, down a long, winding mountain road paved by gorgeous old redwoods and leading away from the Pacific Ocean, it’s perched fairly high in the mountains at about 1,100 feet. So, altitude and proximity to the ocean both have a cooling influence, which can be felt when you drive up from the warmer Sonoma plains. But don’t let the cool air fool you—this mountaintop vineyard is a real sun trap!"
Cleo Pahlmeyer, daughter of Napa Valley's Jayson Pahlmeyer, came up with the idea to produce a stand-alone brand from the Wayfarer Vineyard on the Sonoma coast in 2012. According to the St. Helena Star, "then-Pahlmeyer winemaker Helen Turley had called the property the destined 'La Tache of California,' referring to the blessed grand cru in Burgundy." Pahlmeyer teamed up with winemaker Bibiana González Rave, formerly of Lynmar, on this project.
North is the new Pinot Noir from the Central Coast Rhone Master John Alban. Extremely limited.
Starting in 1985, John Alban planted grapes for other people until he bought an estate in 1989. With a focus on creating wines made from Rhône Valley varietals, Alban came to be a pioneer of the Rhone Rangers movement, and is considered one of the most influential American Rhone producers. Though the focus is on rhone varieties, the Alban pinot noir is a beautiful, fill flavored wine. The richness of the wine is emphsized, which is typical of Alban wines, and the pinot is beautifully balanced.
New Pinot label from Dan Kosta of Kosta Browne and partner Emeril Lagasse!
The 2016 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir is medium-bodied, offering subtle fruit flavors, bright acidity and structure that sing in intricate harmony. Inviting aromas of firm blackberry, cedar and pitted cherry are accentuated with floral notes. The nuanced palate balances bright cherry, blackberry and pluot fruits with hints of savory fennel fronds and sea mist. This wine is medium-bodied and typical of Sonoma Coast with bright acidity, subtle fruit flavors and elegant structure. The winemaker is Shane Finley, formerly an assistant winemaker at Kosta Browne for many years.
AldenAlli is the culmination to two families’ expertise in combining superior food, wine, and hospitality to create a sense of place and tradition. The place is Sonoma Coast, above the western most part of the United States, pushing the limits of viticulture where land meets sea. The tradition is our love of Pinot Noir and the ongoing pursuit of the most elusive reward. The creation of AldenAlli wine began with the convergence of friendship, families, and culinary passions. Both the Kosta and Lagasse families have a long history with one another and with Pinot Noir. Dan Kosta was introduced to Burgundy wines at the young age of five, and an abundant array of Pinot Noir in the Lagasse restaurants has long been a favorite with diners. The nightly presence of Sonoma Pinot Noir at their family dinner tables has been a standing tradition for years. AldenAlli Pinot Noir tells the story of these two families’ talent for combining world class wine with great food.
96+ Points Parker
One of the best new Pinot Noir producers in California! The partners, who all previously worked at Williams Selyem, are deeply committed to crafting high quality, cool climate single vineyard Pinot Nor, Syrah and Chardonnay sourced from vineyards in Northern California. Limited.
96+ Points Robert Parker: "The 2018 Pinot Noir Campbell Ranch is an incredibly expressive wine, with a savory blend of crushed cranberry and blackberry fruit accented by notes of fragrant earth, lavender, charcuterie, fir and Angostura bitters. The palate's full, expressive fruit character is supported by a silky, seamlessly fresh structure, and it finishes very long and layered."
94 Points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): "The 2018 Pinot Noir Campbell Ranch is a wine of real substance and depth. Sweet red cherry, spice, crushed flowers, mint and blood orange all run through this plaint, wonderfully expressive Pinot. The Campbell Ranch has quite a bit of depth, yet it very much remains within the understated style that is such a signature of the house style."
Located a few miles from the Pacific Ocean, this vineyard sits near the tiny town of Annapolis, and is farmed by Steve Campbell. At approximately 750 feet above sea level, it sits right at the boundary of the marine layer, ensuring that the cool, coastal climate delays ripening well beyond the warmer vineyards to the east. The two-decade-old vines grow on sandy, low-vigor Goldridge soil, which helps reduce yields to near two tons per acre.