2020 Wayfarer Chardonnay
Cuvée Cleo

Tasting Notes

The best of Wayfarer Vineyard Chardonnay, 2020 Cuvée Cleo is extremely expressive in the glass An intoxicating bouquet of orchard flowers, star jasmine, apricot and orange peel mingle with wafts of toasted almonds and freshly baked madeleines On the palate, the wine is voluminous and intense with flavors of lemon confit, pear and white peach, underpinned by slate stones.  With a precise structure, refined minerality and exuberant acidity, the finish goes on and on.

Winemaking Notes

The fruit was picked by hand at night, and firm, cool clusters were delivered to the winery before sunriseWe hand-sorted the clusters then transferred them into a bladder pressAfter gentle pressing, the juice settled for 24 hours before we carefully racked it to new French oak barrelsNative yeast slowly guided alcoholic fermentation, with measured batonnage until malolactic fermentation was complete. The wine aged sur lie for 15 months without any racking, fining or filtrationWe carefully racked the wine off its lees directly to bottle.

Vintage Notes

The 2020 vintage was warm but consistent, resulting in exceptionally expressive and intense winesWith only 28 inches of rain compared to our 65-inch average, it was another drought year, however late spring rains filled the soil profile to give the vines plenty of energyThe summer was warmer than average, reaching the mid-80s most days, but the temperature remained even, with only one day over 90 degreesThe vines loved this consistency and thrived through harvest, which began on the early side at the end of August.  






98+ Points

Audrey Frick, jebdunnuck.com, August 2022

The 2020 Chardonnay Cuvée Cleo takes on more depth, with orange flower, pineapple, and beeswax. Up front, the palate is ripe with golden orchard fruit and apricot, as well as orange peel and a hint of warming spice. The palate is full and opulent, with a suspended yet clean texture, making this an incredibly elegant and profound wine. Drink it over the next 10 or more years.

98 Points

Erin Brooks, Wine Advocate, July 2022

The 2020 Chardonnay Cuvée Cleo comes from one new barrel of Hyde clone fruit and is elegant and expressive. It has a spicy character on the nose complementing scents of quince, pear, elderflower, flint and crushed almonds. The medium-bodied palate is satiny and fragrant, with detailed, mineral-laced fruits and a very long, seamless finish.

Wine Data

Todd Kohn
Wayfarer Vineyard, Fort Ross-Seaview, Sonoma
Double guyot
Vine Yield:
1.46 pounds/vine
September 9, 2020
December 15, 2021
Spring 2023
6.7 g/L
Cases Produced:

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