The 2018 vintage is the first to include our newest Chardonnay blocks – 2 acres grafted from Pinot Noir to Chardonnay in 2016. A bouquet of orange blossom, jasmine, toasted almonds and lemon zest prepares the palate for beautiful acid and wet stone. This fresh structure is enveloped in a rich texture that balances the linear focus of the wine.
We hand-picked each block and delivered firm, cool clusters to the winery before sunrise. After gentle pressing, the wine settled for 24 hours, followed by carefully-monitored racking of the juice to barrel. Native yeasts slowly guided alcoholic fermentation, with careful batonnage until malolactic fermentation was complete. The wine was aged in barrel for 15 months, and bottled unfined and unfiltered.
2018 was marked by a long and temperate growing season that allowed for a calm harvest. The Chardonnay vines began to emerge on March 29th in block 12. Overall rainfall was 35% below our average, with only 37.5 inches. However, a large portion of this rain came in April, just after budbreak and long before bloom. With this spring rain filling the soil profile, the vines were able to thrive in moderate weather through May, where daily high temperatures averaged 65 degrees. Chardonnay bloom occurred in the final days of May. Temperatures remained moderate throughout the summer with no major heat waves. It was an ideal, lengthy ripening season, coaxing complex aromas and texture from our Chardonnay, while maintaining bright acidity. Chardonnay harvest began in bock 6 on September 17th and concluded with block 29 on September 29th.
Blocks2, 6, 12, 17, 26b, 27, 28, 29
Berlenbach Old Wente, Hyde Old Wente, Mount Eden, Dijon 95
Erin Brooks, Wine Advocate, September 2020
"The 2018 Chardonnay Wayfarer Vineyard opens with explosive perfume! Gunflint, spring honey, white flowers and salted almonds mingle over rich quince paste and warm apple fruit. The palate is equally as compelling, its powerful, rich layers of flavor packed into an ultra silky frame, offering bright pops of juiciness and a finish that goes on forever. Wow! It's stunning now but may improve with more time in bottle."
Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com, April 2020
"The 2018 Chardonnay Wayfarer Vineyard is a fitting conclusion to this tasting of 2018s. Rich and viscous in the glass, with terrific energy, the 2018 is wonderfully complete, not to mention incredibly delicious. Lemon confit, white pepper, mint, jasmine and light tropical notes develop in the glass, but it is the wine's textural feel that really stands out. The 2018 is a drop-dead gorgeous beauty. The Wayfarer Vineyard spent 16 months in oak, about 70% new."
Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com, May 2020
"From the estate vineyard in the Fort Ross-Seaview appellation and barrel fermented (all native yeast) and aged 15 months in 70% new French oak, the 2018 Chardonnay Wayfarer Vineyard offers a classic and slightly Burgundian style in its caramelized orchard fruits, toasted nuts, brioche, and white flower-laced aromas and flavors. Showing a touch marine-like salinity with time in the glass, it’s medium to full-bodied and has good concentration, integrated acidity, and a great finish. Give it a year and it will drink nicely for a decade."
Kim Marcus, Wine Spectator, August 2020
"Big and rich, with hints of toasted coconut to the ripe apple, pear and melon flavors that glide across the palate, accented by smoky richness. The unctuous finish lingers, revealing notes of lemon drop and buttered toast. Drink now through 2025."
- Todd Kohn
- Wayfarer Vineyard, Fort Ross-Seaview, Sonoma Coast
- Double guyot
- Vine Yield:
- 3.5 pounds per vine
- September 17-29, 2018
- December 19, 2020
- Fall 2020
- 100% Chardonnay
- Cases Produced: