The 2020 Chardonnay has copious energy. Notes of lemon tart, honeysuckle, tangerine and pear emerge from the glass. Over time, elements of orange blossom, white peach, chamomile and a touch of flintiness evolve. The wine enters the palate with a rush of freshness reminiscent of the Northern California coast. An abundance of lively acidity complements the rich, deep texture, and the finish is marked by persistent, refreshing minerality.
Each block was hand-picked and firm, cool clusters were delivered to the winery before sunrise. After gentle pressing, the juice settled for 24 hours before careful racking to French oak barrels, 58% 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.
With overall rainfall only 28 inches compared to Wayfarer Vineyard’s 65-inch annual average, 2020 is considered a drought year. However, 3 inches of rain came in April, and another 3 inches in May. These late rains filled the soil profile and gave the vines plenty of energy through spring, allowing budbreak and bloom to occur within their typical timeframes. The summer was warmer than average, with temperatures reaching the mid-80s most days. The vines loved the warm weather and kept to their normal schedule, with veraison occurring at the end of July. August continued with warmer than average weather, however the temperature rose above 90 degrees only once at the Vineyard. The vines continued to thrive until harvest, which began on August 26th and wrapped up on September 19th.
Blocks2, 4, 6, 12, 17, 26b, 27, 28, 29
Berlenbach Old Wente, Dijon 95, Hyde, Mount Eden
Audrey Frick, jebdunnuck.com, August 2022
The 2020 Chardonnay Wayfarer Vineyard is fragrant and layered with lemon verbena, toasted brioche, and white peach. It has detail and definition in its structure, with refreshing acidity and a stony, lifted finish. Drink it over the next 10 or more years.
Erin Brooks, Wine Advocate, July 2022
The 2020 Chardonnay Wayfarer Vineyard has pretty scents of baked apples, beeswax, roasted almonds and toast. The medium-bodied palate has a satiny texture and layered, savory flavors balanced by refreshing acidity, and it finishes long and flavorful.
Antonio Galloni, Vinous, June 2022
The 2020 Chardonnay Wayfarer Vineyard is a gorgeous wine. Deep, rich and phenolic, this potent Chardonnay has a ton to offer. The 2020 is a very beautiful and distinctive wine that is just starting to open. It will be interesting to see how it ages. A reduction of new oak given the richness of the year works so well here.
MaryAnn Worobiec, Wine Spectator, July 2022
Impressive, with ripe mango, dried pineapple and tangerine flavors that are intense, focused and juicy. Details of lemongrass, cardamom and ginger linger on the long, expressive finish, with a supple frame adding an air of elegance. Drink now through 2033.
- Todd Kohn
- Wayfarer Vineyard, Fort Ross-Seaview AVA
- Double guyot
- Vine Yield:
- 3.16 pounds per vine
- August 26 - September 16, 2020
- December 15, 2021
- Fall 2022
- 100% Chardonnay
- 6.6 g/L
- Cases Produced: