2013 Wayfarer Chardonnay
The Estate

Tasting Notes

The color of straw with glints of green, our 2013 Wayfarer Vineyard Chardonnay captivates with intense, seductive aromatics of honeysuckle, orange blossom and lemon zest, lingering with hints of brioche and flint. Its rich mouthfeel envelops the palate, underscored by a laser-focused acidity. Notes of white peach, apricot, toasted almond and crème fraîche linger through the extended finish. This wine carries an amazing minerality, a sense of dry flintiness, that is unique to our site. A stunning wine to enjoy in its youth with an hour of decanting, it will age beautifully for another 10–15 years.

Winemaking Notes

Patiently choosing the perfect moment to harvest was essential to achieving this wine’s aromatic intensity and buoyant acidity. Over the course of a week, we hand-harvested each block in the pre-dawn hours to ensure that 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. We transferred 58% to new French oak at medium toast levels from cooperages including Damy, François Frères, Remond and Latour. Native yeasts slowly guided alcoholic fermentation with the lees stirred frequently until malolactic fermentation was fully complete. The wine was aged in barrel for 15 months and bottled unfined and unfiltered.

Vintage Notes

The 2013 growing season was initially noted for its 40%-below-average rainfall amidst California’s escalating drought. However, the vintage will ultimately be remembered for its intense, concentrated flavors and exceptional quality across each vineyard block. Our 2013 Chardonnay was particularly outstanding in its phenolic ripeness balanced with lively acidity and intriguing minerality. Mild spring temperatures beckoned bud break as normal beginning March 15th with the Mount Eden Clone on the east-facing slope of Block 2. While a touch of gentle spring rain accelerated canopy growth, strategic shoot positioning and leaf removal afforded ideal air circulation around the beautifully formed clusters. Veraison began on July 31st, and we began harvest on September 10th with the east side of the estate, picking westward to completion on September 17th.

Blocks Map

2, 12, 17, 27, 28, 29


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


95 Points

Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate, October 31, 2017

The 2013 Chardonnay Wayfarer Vineyard has a youthful nose of pink grapefruit, white peaches and lemon curd with honeyed toast, beeswax and coriander seed. The palate is very finely crafted, tightly knit and still quite primary, revealing vibrant citrus and stone fruit flavors and a satiny texture, finishing long and minerally.

98 Points

Rusty Gaffney, PinotFile, July 2015

Light golden yellow color in the glass. Wonderful aromatic purity featuring scents of lemon curd, pineapple, marzipan and a hint of oak vanillin. This wine really makes a statement on the palate with a delicious array of citrus flavors augmented with notes of honey, caramel and vanilla. The flavors surprisingly build in intensity in the mouth, climaxing in an extended lemon drop party. Complimenting the gorgeous fruit core, there is a steely and saline-infused acidity in the background that gifts the wine crispness and vibrancy. A stunning wine that spectacularly fulfills the promise of the West Sonoma Coast.

98 Points

Doug Wilder, Purely Domestic Wine Report, March 2015

From the superbly talented viticulturist/winemaker Bibiana González Rave, the current vintage is full of excellent to extraordinary wines. 2013 Chardonnay is a selection of Old Wente clone seeing only 60% new French oak, The nose is a gauze of citrus, pulverized granite, conifer, pineapple, honey, salt, lush buttercream and piecrust. The palate shows incredible structure and focus to the feather-light vibrant peach, pear. A masterpiece.

94 Points

Antonio Galloni, Vinous, January 2015

The 2013 Chardonnay Wayfarer Vineyard shows just how well suited this site is to Chardonnay. Lemon oil, jasmine, apricot pit and white pepper are all beautifully articulated in a tense, crystalline Chardonnay that dazzles with brilliance. This is by far the most chiseled Chardonnay in the Pahlmeyer range, and a great example of what is possible on the coast.

Wine Data

Bibiana González Rave
Wayfarer Vineyard, Fort Ross-Seaview, Sonoma Coast
Double Guyot
Vine Yield:
3.4 lbs per vine
September 10 – September 17, 2013
December 19, 2014
Fall 2015
100% Chardonnay
Cases Produced:
800 cases

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