This 2019 might be one of Wayfarer’s best Chardonnay vintage to date. Wayfarer’s distinctive weather patterns are defined by both coastal influence and site elevation. At 1,100 feet in elevation, the vineyard enjoys extended sun exposure. It resides 4.05 miles – two coastal ridges – from the Pacific, and chilly ocean winds moderate vineyard temperatures as generous sunshine keeps the site warmer than its lower-elevation surroundings. This warm spot in an otherwise cool area allows our fruit to ripen slowly, evenly, and fully – maintaining a balanced acidity while achieving remarkable concentration and complexity. In 2019, winemaker Todd Kohn was able to be patient with the vines, allowing them to naturally adjust to the energy in the soil. “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.” 97 Points, Jeb Dunnuck.
Wayfarer Vineyard used to be a farm owned by the Davis family and in 1998, when they were getting ready to list their farm for sale, Marcassin’s vintner/winemaker, Helen Turley quickly took notice. Marcassin was just down the road and Helen understood well the extraordinary character of fruit this land could yield. Helen also knew that it was her good friend and fellow vintner Jayson Pahlmeyer who possessed the vision and tenacity needed to transform the rugged landscape into a world-class vineyard. Wayfarer vineyard was planted by David Abreu in 2002, and in 2005, Jayson started blending Wayfarer Pinot Noir and Chardonnay with fruit from Russian River vineyards and bottling it under the Pahlmeyer moniker. By 2012, the vineyard’s exceptional fruit presented an irrefutable case for a namesake label.