2019 Wayfarer Chardonnay
Estate

Tasting Notes

Aromas of star jasmine, white peach, lemon zest and meringue emerge from the glass, along with roasted almond, coconut and baking spice. Graceful and subtle in its richness, this wine has plenty to offer. The dense palate is beautifully balanced with fresh acidity and salinity. An elegant chalky texture lingers on the finish, indicating great aging potential.

Winemaking Notes

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 a carefully monitored racking to French oak barrels, 63% new. Native yeasts slowly guided alcoholic fermentation, with careful batonnage until malolactic fermentation was complete. The wine aged in barrel for 15 months, and was bottled unfined and unfiltered.

Vintage Notes

2019 began with several months of heavy rainfall. Total rainfall for the year was 78 inches, second only to record-setting rainfall in 2017. However, that is where similarities end between the 2017 and 2019 vintages. Chardonnay shoots emerged on March 26th, a full week later than normal. With a warm April, shoot growth advanced quickly, and energy was plentiful in the soil after heavy rainfall in May.

Flowering began in east-facing blocks on June 3rd, quickly followed by the remainder of the Chardonnay over the next five days. Flowering was also a week later than normal, but aligned wonderfully with a change in the weather, as rain clouds gave way to beautiful sunshine in June. The summer of 2019 was full of sunshine, yet temperatures were moderate to cool. The average high temperature through July and August was 81oF, perfect for gradually ripening the Chardonnay.

In 2019 we were able to be patient with the vines, allowing them to naturally adjust to the energy in the soil on their own.  In drier and warmer vintages, we are more proactive with mowing cover crop, leaf and lateral removal, and irrigating the driest blocks. However, in 2019 we waited until the vines reached their optimal point, then moved in with our canopy work to transition the vines from vegetative growth to fruit maturation. By the time veraison began on August 4th, the vines were tracking only three days later than normal. 40 days later, we picked our first Chardonnay on September 13th, and concluded harvest on October 5th.

Blocks

2, 4, 6, 12, 17, 26b, 27, 28, 29

Clones

Berlenbach Old Wente, Dijon 95, Hyde, Mount Eden

Critics

97 Points

Jeb Dunnuck, jebdunnuck.com, July 2021

A beautiful, Burgundian nose of orchard fruits, white flowers, chalky minerality, and honeysuckle emerge from the 2019 Chardonnay Wayfarer Vineyard, a riveting, pure, flawlessly balanced Chardonnay that shines on all accounts. Picking up a kiss of green almond and toast with time in the glass, it has beautifully integrated acidity, a layered, rich yet light on its feet mouthfeel, and a great finish. This is just about as good as it gets in 2019 with regards to Chardonnay. Give bottles a year or two in the cellar and enjoy through 2032.``

95 Points

Erin Brooks, Wine Advocate, June 2021

The 2019 Chardonnay Wayfarer Vineyard is open and gregarious, with scents of yellow peach, jasmine, honeycomb, almond and touches of struck flint. The full-bodied palate is satiny and packed with lush, perfumed fruits, and it offers generous honey, nutty tones on the very long finish. The fruit for this bottling comes from four different clones planted on the Wayfarer property.

93 Points

Antonio Galloni, Vinous, January 2021

The 2019 Chardonnay Wayfarer Vineyard is creamy open-knit and very pretty, all of which give it quite a bit of early appeal. Lemon confit, white flowers and mint open nicely in the glass. There is quite a bit of energy here, not to mention plenty of Sonoma Coast personality.

93 Points

Kim Markus, Wine Spectator, July 2021

Focused flavors of citrus and green apple are concentrated and well-structured, with hints of dried mint and anise midpalate. The fresh finish is filled with minerally notes. Drink now through 2025.

Wine Data

Winemaker:
Todd Kohn
Origin:
Wayfarer Vineyard, Fort Ross-Seaview AVA
Pruning:
Double guyot
Vine Yield:
3.7 pounds per vine
Harvested:
September 13 - October 5, 2019
Bottled:
December 17, 2020
Release:
Fall 2021
Composition:
100% Chardonnay
Alcohol:
14.5%
pH:
3.30
TA:
6.4 g/L
Cases Produced:
1,350

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