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97 Points: Cult-Collectible Chard and Pinot from a Sonoma Coast Powerhouse - 11/17/2019 - Pinot Noir (domestic)

We are back with another pair of truly riveting expressions from Wayfarer. Arguably one of the top estates producing on California’s Sonoma Coast, these bottlings hold their own against wines that cost two to three times the price. Each earned 97-point ratings and a string of seemingly unending praise from the critics. Estate-grown, meticulously crafted, and from two exceptional vintages, it’s not hard to see why so many are falling head-over-heels for these wines. Jeb Dunnuck writes that “elegance and purity are the buzzwords” with the 2017 Chardonnay while praising the 2016 Pinot as being “on par with the single parcel/clone driven releases.” It’s not a stretch to suggest they are every bit spellbinding the cult collectibles from Aubert, Marcassin, and Kongsgaard. As one might expect, production is limited as is our allocation, so you’ll need to act quickly to secure this world-class pair.

Vintage Item Name Score Retail Link
2017 Wayfarer "Wayfarer Vineyard" Fort Ross-Seaview Chardonnay 97 $79.95 View
2016 Wayfarer "Wayfarer Vineyard" Fort Ross-Seaview Pinot Noir 97 $89.95 View

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2017 Wayfarer "Wayfarer Vineyard" Fort Ross-Seaview Chardonnay ($79.95)

97 points Jeb Dunnuck: "The 2017 Chardonnay Wayfarer Vineyard comes from a handful of clones and saw 65% new barrels. It's a riveting Chardonnay that offers notes of caramelized citrus, honeysuckle, toasted brioche, and scorched earth. Rich, medium to full-bodied, with bright acidity, this beautiful, layered, elegant wine builds with time in the glass. Elegance and purity are the buzzwords, but it has depth and length." (06/2019)

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2017 Chardonnay Wayfarer Vineyard has pure scents of yellow apple, Meyer lemon and white peach, accented by crème fraîche, crushed stone, fresh hay and almonds with nuances of nutmeg and toast. Medium-bodied and creamy textured, it explodes with expansive flavor layers, with wonderful texture to counter the bright, juicy acidity and a long, honeyed finish. I can't wait to taste this after another year or two in bottle! 800 cases produced. (EB)" (12/2019)

95 points Wine Enthusiast: "This stunning wine impresses vintage to vintage and 2017 is no exception. Golden apple, pear and honey fig highlight a fleshy, sumptuous and lush texture of nuanced acidity and oak, the fruit estate grown above ocean fog. Spicy nutmeg, cardamon and a hint of ginger round out the complex fruit and structure. (VB)" (10/2019)

94 points Vinous: "The 2017 Chardonnay Wayfarer Vineyard is rich, phenolic and super-expressive, with real weight and density driving its profile. Apricot, tangerine, butter, lemon confit and white flowers are beautifully delineated in a Chardonnay that balances textural richness with viscosity. The blend of four clones (Mt. Eden, Hyde, Wente and 95) gives this Chardonnay uncommon elegance and complexity. (AG)" (01/2020)

91 points Wine Spectator: "Rich, plush and spicy, with plenty of ripe tropical notes to the red peach, Gala apple and dried ginger flavors. Honeyed details linger on the finish. (KM)" (06/2019)

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2016 Wayfarer "Wayfarer Vineyard" Fort Ross-Seaview Pinot Noir ($89.95)

97 points Jeb Dunnuck: "Leading off the Pinot Noirs, the 2016 Pinot Noir Wayfarer Vineyard was completely destemmed and spent 15 months in 45% new French oak. It offers a bright framboise, cranberry, exotic flower, and spice-driven bouquet that carries to a medium-bodied, silky Pinot Noir that has everything in all the right places. Showing more floral, spice, and forest floor with time in the glass, incredible tannin quality, and a great finish, its certainly on par with the single parcel/clone driven releases." (06/2018)

95 points Wine Enthusiast: "This estate-grown beauty is succulent and supple, with a tense body of bright wild strawberry, crushed rock, dried lavender and Asian spice. Robustly rich and deeply layered in flavor and texture, it finishes in a gorgeous dabble of white pepper. (VB)" (11/2018)

94 points James Suckling: "This offers exceptional detail in terms of aromas and flavors with a ripe array of red cherries, framed in seductively spicy oak and fresh, youthful, meaty notes. Theres a long, plush and succulent feel to the palate with elegant, fine-grained tannins, delivered in silky and regal style. Impressive precision. Drink or hold." (10/2018)

94 points Vinous: "The 2016 Pinot Noir Wayfarer Vineyard is fabulous. Powerful and beautifully layered in the glass, it offers terrific depth of fruit allied to structure. The 2016 is incredibly tight and unyielding, which is probably a good thing for its cellaring prospects. I would not think of touching a bottle anytime soon. Today, the 2016 is primary, dense and quite concentrated. Hints of red plum fruit, floral and spice notes emerge over time, but with great reluctance. (AG)" (05/2019)