Arista Winery

California: Russian River Valley, United States

Chardonnay, Banfield Vineyard, Russian River Valley – 2017

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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
  • Tasting Notes

    • The Chardonnay blocks in Banfield Vineyard are some of the coolest sites we work with. These forty-year-old vines, planted to the Old Wente selection of Chardonnay, reside in a protected pocket of the Russian River Valley that collects cool night air, and warms up slowly only when the midmorning sun peeks over the surrounding hills. Aromas of lime zest, fresh mandarin, wet granite, lavender, and grilled bread emanate from the glass. The wine has firm texture, mid-weight density, and an oyster shell minerality with notes of Asian pear, quince, grilled peach, lime curd, wet stones, and candied lemon peel that build in intensity through the mid-palate and carry the long, vibrant finish. Peak drinking window: 2021 through 2031.



  • Arista Winery Chardonnay, Banfield Vineyard, Russian River Valley – 2017 – The Wine Advocate – 91 Points

    The 2017 Chardonnay Banfield Vineyard has a nose of white peaches and baked quince with touches of orange blossom, lemongrass and baker's yeast. The medium-bodied palate offers bright, fresh, perfumed fruit with gentle yeasty touches and a perfumed finish.

  • Arista Winery Chardonnay, Banfield Vineyard, Russian River Valley – 2017 – Wine Spectator – 95 Points

    Contoured, with a svelte structure to the pure-tasting flavors of Fuji apple, Bosc pear, peach tart and quince, layered with toasty accents. Wet stone notes show midpalate, leading to a finish that lingers with light buttery details and rich spiciness. Drink now through 2026. 357 cases made.

  • Arista Winery Chardonnay, Banfield Vineyard, Russian River Valley – 2017 – Jeb Dunnuck – 95+ Points

    One of the large single vineyard releases, the 2017 Chardonnay Banfield Vineyard comes from a site in the Russian River and was whole cluster pressed and fermented and aged 12 months in one-third new French oak. After a year, it was moved to stainless steel tanks for six months before bottling. Notes of Meyer lemons, baked apples, crushed rocks, honeyed flowers, and spice all emerge from the glass, and it's rich and full-bodied on the palate, with plenty of structure and depth as well as good acidity. More reserved and tight, it's another effort from this estate that needs a year of bottle age

  • Arista Winery Chardonnay, Banfield Vineyard, Russian River Valley – 2017 – Vinous – 93 Points

    The 2017 Chardonnay Banfield Vineyard is powerful, but also tightly wound, with a lot of energy to play off of the rich, luscious fruit. The Banfield has a real phenolic feel of structure. This is the coolest site Arista works with for Chardonnay. I would give it a few years in bottle to come around, as it is a bit austere, its considerable richness notwithstanding.