2012 Wayfarer Chardonnay
The Estate

Tasting Notes

This wine emits a pale yellow-green silver glow. Wayfarer Vineyard’s cool coastal influence is evident in the wine’s complex aromatics, layered texture and impeccable balance. An interplay of citrus, orange blossom, Asian pear, white peach and flinty aromatics echoes and expands on the palate. Flavors are lifted and extended by acidity that washes over the sumptuous structure framing the expansive mid-palate. A finish of tangerine and acacia with hints of roasted almond and honeysuckle lingers in the mouth. Generous and complex, this wine will continue to evolve and open. Cellar 5-8+ years.

Winemaking Notes

Waiting for the perfect moment to harvest was essential in achieving aromatic intensity while maintaining the wine’s buoyant acidity. We hand-harvested in pre-dawn hours to ensure firm, cool clusters were delivered to the winery. After gentle whole-cluster pressing, the wine settled for 12 to 24 hours followed by carefully-monitored racking. Our 2012 barrel program utilized 65% new French oak at medium toast levels. Cooperages include Damy, Francois Freres, Remond and Latour. Alcoholic fermentation was slow as guided by native yeasts, and lees were stirred often until malolactic fermentation was fully completed. The wine aged in barrel for 15 months and was bottled unfined and unfiltered.

Vintage Notes

The 2012 growing year began with average rainfall and steady, moderate temperatures. A mild spring led to a warm, dry summer, providing ideal conditions for vine growth. Our vineyard crew worked diligently to control vigor and manage the leaf canopy to ensure well-formed, consistent clusters by early summer. Veraison occurred in early August. Mid to late-summer temperatures never spiked, allowing the fruit to ripen slowly and steadily – the hallmark of a great vintage. Vines yielded generous fruit that required repeat thinning to obtain the desired concentration and vine balance. We began harvesting on October 2 with Block 2, and completed harvest on October 10 with Block 27, the coolest site in the vineyard. The fruit achieved both ideal aromatic maturity and optimal physiological development.

Blocks Map

2, 12, 17, 27, 28, 29


Berlenbach Old Wente, Dijon 95, Hyde Old Wente, Mount Eden


94 Points

Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast, March 2015

Editor's Choice. Estate grown, this is the only white from the Wayfarer Vineyard out on the Fort Ross-Seaview coast, and it’s stunning. Culled from several distinct blocks planted to a handful of clones, including Mt. Eden and Old Wente, the aromas are pretty in orange blossom and peach, the body expansive and flinty. Succulent, the wine offers a lot of layered complexity, making it enjoyable now and through 2020-2022.

92 Points

Antonio Galloni, Vinous, February 2014

The 2012 Chardonnay Wayfarer Vineyard impresses for its energy and focus. Grapefruit, lemon oil, pears, chalk and white flowers all take shape in the glass.

91 Points

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, December 2014

The 2012 Chardonnay is a mutli-­clonal blend exhibiting a light gold color as well as hints of apricot blossoms, white peach, honeysuckle, citrus and wet rocks. Medium to full‐bodied, pure and beautifully textured with good acidity, it can be enjoyed over the next 7-­8 years.

90 Points

James Laube, Wine Spectator, July 2014

Fragrant, with delicate white flower, peach and honeydew melon notes that gain richness without weight on the finish, where the fruit takes on a perfumed aroma.

Wine Data

Bibiana González Rave
Wayfarer Vineyard, Fort Ross-Seaview, Sonoma Coast
Double Guyot
Vine Yield:
3.25 lbs per vine
October 2 – October 10, 2012
December 20, 2013
Fall 2014
100% Chardonnay
5.9 g/l
Cases Produced:
660 cases

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