Arista Winery

California: Russian River Valley, United States

Chardonnay, Banfield Vineyard, Russian River Valley – 2015

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  • Introduction

    • Vintage Notes

      The Banfield Vineyard Chardonnay comes from the northern edge of the Green Valley, a sub-appellation of the Russian River Valley. The location of this vineyard is ideal for growing Chardonnay due to the cooling influence of coastal fog. This dry farmed vineyard was planted in 1980 to the Wente Selection of Chardonnay, a highly prized selection of Chardonnay know for its small, loose clusters and intensely flavored grapes. The 30+ year old vines are rare in the Russian River Valley and produce lower yields per acre. What’s lost in tonnage is more than compensated for in flavor and quality as is evidenced through the wines produced year after year. The combination of site and vine age represent a truly unique and distinct vineyard that we are proud to work with.


      Cold grapes arrive at the winery early in the morning after having been picked at night. Grape clusters are sorted by hand and gently transferred as whole clusters directly into our press to undergo an extremely gentle press cycle lasting 3-4 hours. From the settling tank, the juice is moved to 60-gallon French oak barrels, where fermentation is allowed to occur naturally using only native yeast that come in from our vineyards. Limited battonage is used during the first 2-3 months of fermentation in order to encourage the development of a healthy yeast population. Once fermentation is safely underway the wine is not disturbed until the fermentation is complete, which typically takes about 10 11 months. Final blends are assembled and gently racked to stainless-steel tanks for about 4-6 months.

      Technical Information

      Vine Age: 30+ years
      Soil: Well-drained, sandy, Goldridge
      Clonal Composition: Wente Selection
      Aging: 12 months fermentation and aging in barrel followed by 6 months in
      stainless steel
      Alcohol: 14.7
      Unfined, unfiltered

  • Tasting Notes

    • Aromas of lime zest, orange blossom, wet granite, panna cotta and grilled bread emanate from the glass. The wine has great texture, density and minerality with notes of Asian pear, lime curd, melted rocks, and lemon butter that build in intensity through the mid-palate and carry the long finish.



  • Arista Winery Chardonnay, Banfield Vineyard, Russian River Valley – 2015 – Vinous – 92 Points

    The 2015 Chardonnay Banfield Vineyard is the most open-knit and accessible of these 2015 Chardonnays from Arista. Lush and expressive on the palate, with terrific depth, the 2015 exudes balance and class. All the elements fall into place effortlessly. The 2015 is a bit smaller scaled and not quite as layered as the other wines in this range. Otherwise, it is impeccably done.

  • Arista Winery Chardonnay, Banfield Vineyard, Russian River Valley – 2015 – Wine Enthusiast – 92 Points

    From a dry-farmed site and older vines, this wine is resplendent in white flowers, salty brine and strong flavors of melon, pineapple and sweet vanilla. With a soft integrated texture and toasted oak, crème brûlée and burnt sugar.

  • Chardonnay, Banfield Vineyard, Russian River Valley – 2015 – 94 points – Wine Advocate

    “The 2015 Chardonnay Banfield Vineyard gives up a compelling floral nose of honeysuckle and orange blossoms over a core of ripe peaches and apple pie plus a hint of butterscotch."