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Wayfarer Chardonnay 2016

Chardonnay from Fort Ross-Seaview, Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
  • JD98
  • RP97
  • WE94
  • JS93
  • WS92
14.4% ABV
Other Vintages
  • RP96
  • WE95
  • WS93
  • WE98
  • JS93
  • WS93
  • RP92
  • RP95
  • WE95
  • WS91
  • RP93
  • WS90
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14.4% ABV

Winemaker Notes

In the glass, our 2016 Chardonnay displays a pale yellow hue. Its aromas are reminiscent of walking through a flower garden in spring—with redolent white flower, honeysuckle and orange blossom. On the palate the wine is lean and focused, with rich warmth and unifying acidity. Hints of minerality reveal themselves over a finish of incredible depth and length.

Enjoy this wine in its youth or over the next 10 to 15 years while it continues to develop in the bottle.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
JD 98
Jeb Dunnuck
Starting with the Chardonnay, the 2016 Chardonnay Wayfarer Vineyard is an extraordinary effort as well as world-class. Offering an ultra-pure bouquet of white flowers, tangerine, crushed citrus, and hints of brioche and marzipan, it hits the palate with medium-bodied richness, a seamless, elegant texture, riveting acidity, and a great, great finish. It’s certainly one the gems in the great vintage and is going to benefit from a year or two of bottle age and keep for 15+ years.
RP 97
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2016 Chardonnay Wayfarer Vineyard opens with beguiling scents of fresh ginger, orange blossoms, baking bread, toasted almonds and beeswax with a core of pineapple, grapefruit, lemon meringue pie and green mango. Medium to full-bodied, the palate explodes with tropical and citrus fruit goodness, supported by a racy line of acid and finishing on a persistent gingery note.
WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
Moderately structured, complex and balanced in weight, this is a tremendous white, coastal in briny salt breeze and oak. The fruit profile is savory and crisp, a mix of lime zest and tangerine that brightens and lengthens the well-integrated palate.
JS 93
James Suckling
A bold style with rich nougat and glacé peaches, leading to a palate that has soft, round, butter-infused peaches and a delightfully fresh finish. Drink now.
WS 92
Wine Spectator
Firm and fleshy, with good cut to the focused green pear, Granny Smith apple and kiwifruit flavors. Hints of dried tarragon show on the crisp finish. Drink now through 2022.
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Wayfarer

Wayfarer

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Wayfarer, California
Wayfarer was founded as a secluded farmstead more than 40 years ago, before its locale was defined as the now coveted Fort Ross Seaview AVA. In 1989, Jayson Pahlmeyer's winemaker, Helen Turley, discovered the site for sale down the road from her Marcassin vineyard. She introduced Pahlmeyer, declaring it destined to become "the La Tache of California."

In tandem with his daughter Cleo and renowned winemaker Bibiana Gonzales Rave, Pahlmeyer drives to make intricate wines of transcendence, answering to powerful, ever-unpredictable climate that rewards only the most observant and meticulous. It is an endeavor of true passion, an experiment that pushes the exactitude of winegrowing and winemaking to the farthest limits.

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Fort Ross-Seaview

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On the far western edge of the larger Sonoma Coast appellation, the Fort Ross-Seaview AVA hugs right up against the Pacific coast. Vineyards, planted at rugged elevations between 920 to 1,800 feet, occupy only two percent of the total land in the AVA. Fort Ross-Seaview growers believe that the region boasts an ideal mix of sunshine, cool air and beneficial stress for producing high quality Chardonnay and Pinot noir.

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Chardonnay

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One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While practically every country in the wine producing world grows it, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. As far as cellar potential, white Burgundy rivals the world’s other age-worthy whites like Riesling or botrytized Semillon. California is Chardonnay’s second most important home, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia and South America are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay flavors tend towards grapefruit, lemon zest, green apple, celery leaf and wet flint, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of melon, peach and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut and spice, while malolactic fermentation imparts a soft and creamy texture.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with flaky white fish with herbs, scallops, turkey breast and soft cheeses. Richer Chardonnays marry well with lobster, crab, salmon, roasted chicken and creamy sauces.

Sommelier Secret

Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. In Burgundy, the subregion of Chablis, while typically employing the use of older oak barrels, produces a similar bright and acid-driven style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy its lighter style.

YNG293679_2016 Item# 514735