2015 Wayfarer Chardonnay
Wayfarer Vineyard

Tasting Notes

In the glass, our 2015 Chardonnay displays a luminous light yellow hue tinted with pale green. On the nose, generous tropical aromas like melon and crushed pineapple mingle with hints of acacia and white flower, as well as complex notes of vanilla, brioche and golden oak—with just a touch of salinity. The palate is soft, succulent and fresh; it’s also very focused, with bright, balanced acidity and an appealing minerality that lingers over the finish. Enjoy this wine in its youth or over the next 10 to 15 years while it continues to develop in the bottle.

Winemaking Notes

We hand picked each block and delivered firm, cool clusters to the winery before sunrise. After gentle pressing, the wine settled for 12 to 24 hours, followed by carefully monitored racking. We transferred to 65% new French oak at medium toast levels from cooperages including Damy, François Frères, Remond and Latour. Native yeasts slowly guided alcoholic fermentation, the lees stirred frequently until malolactic fermentation was complete. The wine was aged in barrel for 15 months and bottled unfined and unfiltered.

Vintage Notes

We farm each of the 30 blocks of our Wayfarer Vineyard individually to tailor the shoot positioning and leafing vine by vine, and clone by clone. Such fine-tuned farming is critical to success on the extreme Sonoma Coast, with its varying elevations and exposures – east facing, west facing, north side, and south side. By the end of the growing season we have typically visited each vine a dozen times.

This meticulous attention pays off in vintages like 2015, when we experienced our third consecutive year of draught conditions. Unseasonably warm weather in February and March gave us budbreak eight days earlier than average, and we were lucky not to have experienced any frost. Sunny days in April led into a cool, cloudy May, which extended bloom period and reduced the number of berries in each cluster. Summer turned warm, for optimum ripening, and when a heat wave hit in mid-August all our vines came through in fine form.

Blocks Map

2, 12, 17, 27, 28, 29

Clones

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

Critics

96+ Points

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

The 2015 Chardonnay Wayfarer Vineyard has an intense nose of pineapple, guava and ginger with honeysuckle, marzipan, cashews and brioche. The medium-bodied palate is incredibly taut for such a gregarious nose with wonderful tension framing the pronounced tropical flavors beautifully, finishing with lingering savory notes and a gorgeous creamy texture. 800 cases were made.

96 Points

Doug Wilder, Purely Domestic Wine Report, June, 2017

A stunning nose of pure pineapple, mineral, sea salt with notes of lemon and hazelnut. The palate is fresh and deeply focused with nuts, long ribbons of rich stone fruits, spice and lemon crème. Even better on day 3. Drink 2017 – 2025.

96 Points

Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com, July 2017

The 2015 Chardonnay Wayfarer Vineyard is flat out gorgeous. Deep, rich and elegant, with melon, citrus rind, brioche and hints of white truffles, this beauty hits the palate with plenty of richness, bright acidity, and a great finish. Coming from goldridge soils, it's a classic, elegant Chardonnay that will be better with another year or two of bottle age and drink nicely for a decade.

95 Points

Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast, August 2018

A youthful, tightly concentrated wine, this opens slowly to reveal a great depth of character and depth of flavor. Toffee, Meyer lemon and crisp apple meet a balanced richness of integrated oak, sublime texture and floral aromatics and brine that tease of the sea.

Wine Data

Winemaker:
Bibiana González Rave
Origin:
Wayfarer Vineyard, Fort Ross-Seaview, Sonoma Coast
Pruning:
Double Guyot
Vine Yield:
Less than 3lbs per vine
Harvested:
September 03 – September 10, 2015
Bottled:
December 1, 2016
Release:
Fall 2017
Composition:
100% Chardonnay
Alcohol:
14.4%
pH:
3.43
Cases Produced:
800

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