Medium to deep ruby-purple, the 2013 Pinot Noir Mother Rock (made from Mt. Eden and 777 clones) has a gorgeous, spicy nose of Chinese five spice, raspberry coulis, red currant jelly and dried rose petals with a touch of smoked meat. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is opulent and seductive, with velvety tannins and lovely, understated freshness, finishing with lingering perfumed notes.
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!