Arista Winery

California: Russian River Valley, United States

Chardonnay, Banfield Vineyard, Russian River Valley – 2016

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  • Vineyard Profile

    • 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.

    • Vineyards: Banfield Vineyard
    • Vine Age: 30+ years
    • Clones: Wente Selection
    • Soil: Well-drained, sandy, Goldridge
  • Vinification

    • 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.

    • Aging: 12 months fermentation and aging in barrel followed by 6 months in stainless steel
    • Filtration: Unfiltered, Unfined
  • Technical Information

    • Varietal Composition: 100% Chardonnay
    • Alcohol: 14.5%
  • 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 – 2016 – Vinous – 93 Points

    The 2016 Chardonnay Banfield Vineyard is the most powerful of the four Arista Chardonnays, made in a distinctly phenolic, savory style. There is quite a bit of depth to the fruit, and yet the tannins are less polished than in the other wines in the range.

  • Arista Chardonnay Banfield Vineyard – 2016 – Jeb Dunnuck – 97 Points

    Seeing the same elevage (12 months in one-third new oak followed by six months in tank), the 2016 Chardonnay Banfield Vineyard has a more savory style with notes of baked apple, honeyed minerality, brioche, and some toasty, nutty notes. It's beautifully balanced, has a rich, textured mouthfeel, and a great finish. It's another brilliant wine from this estate.

  • Arista Winery Chardonnay Russian River Valley, Banfield Vineyard – 2016 – The Wine Advocate – 93+ Points

    From dry-farmed, 45-year-old Wente clone vines, the 2016 Chardonnay Banfield Vineyard gives up toast, orange blossom, white peach and apricot aromas with minerally and earthy nuances. Medium-bodied with pure fruits in the mouth plus tons of spicy accents, it has good texture and great juicy acidity...

  • Arista Chardonnay Russian River Valley Banfield Vineyard – 2016 – Wine Spectator – 94 Points

    Lithe, with concentrated white fruit and spice flavors, supported by fresh acidity. Ripe melon notes emerge midpalate, followed by a long, cream-filled finish that has some taut savory touches. Drink now through 2025.