Arista Winery

California: Russian River Valley, United States

Chardonnay, Banfield Vineyard, Russian River Valley — 2021

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  • Introduction

    • WINERY: The core principle of the winemaking philosophy at Arista is to capture and express the true character and potential of each vineyard. They work with a very carefully chosen handful of grand-cru level Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vineyards, and are uncompromising in their efforts to maximize the full potential of the wines crafted from these special sites.

      WINE: Banfield Vineyard is one of the oldest vineyards in Sonoma County, whose original Zinfandel vines were planted by the Banfield family in 1880 and remain in production today. The Chardonnay block was planted 100 years later, but still enjoys the status of being one of the oldest Chardonnay vineyards in California. These nearly 50-year-old vines continue to produce a tiny crop of the most intensely flavored and aromatic Chardonnay in the Arista portfolio.

  • 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
    • Appellation: Sonoma County
    • Location: California
    • Cultivation: Sustainable initiatives
    • Vine Age: 40-50 years
    • Clones: Wente Selection
    • Soil: Well-drained, sandy, Goldridge
  • Vinification

    • Fermentation: 12 months fermentation and aging in barrel followed by 4-6 months in stainless steel.
    • Aging: Aged in barrel followed by 4-6 months in stainless steel
    • Filtration: Unfiltered
    • Fining: Unfined
  • Technical Information

    • Varietal Composition: 100% Chardonnay
    • Alcohol: 13.8%
  • Tasting Notes

    • The 2021 Banfield Vineyard Chardonnay is open and delicious right out of the bottle. Classic Banfield notes of bright citrus and Granny Smith apple are accented by hints of freshly cut tropical fruits. As always, the wine was fermented and aged in traditional Burgundian barrels, but the oak influence is subtle and contributes a nuanced toasty note and hints of caramelized sugar. A citrus-inflected minerality gives the finish a tangy lift while keeping the palate lively and balanced.



  • Chardonnay, Banfield Vineyard, Russian River Valley — 2021 – Wine Spectator – 93 Points

    "Appealing for its concentration and purity, there's a lot packed into a supple frame: lemon curd, crisp apple, lemongrass and verbena notes, plus a hint of grilled lemon. The acidity is fresh and vibrant, and the finish is long, mouthwatering and generous."

  • Banfield Vineyard Chardonnay, Russian River Valley — 2021 – James Suckling – 97 Points

    “The brightness and fresh herbs, such as parsley and lemongrass, come out nicely. Some flint. It’s full-bodied with a lovely density. It has plenty of ripe green apple, lemon-lime and brioche flavors. So pure and beautiful.”