Arista Winery

California: Russian River Valley, United States

Chardonnay, El Diablo Vineyard, Russian River Valley – 2020

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  • Vineyard Profile

    • Ulises Valdez planted the El Diablo Vineyard in 2008. The site is located on a ridge off Eastside Road and serves as the eastern edge of the Russian River Valley Appellation. The location of the site means that while each morning the vineyard is shrouded in fog, the marine layer burns off and the vines are able to soak in several hours of warm sunlight by early afternoon. Careful thought was put into both rootstock and clonal selection for the vineyard. Arista’s blocks are planted to the Montrachet and Old Wente selections of Chardonnay and are grafted to rootstock 420a. Row spacing is tight at 4×6 which helps to further reduce vigor and encourage competition for nutrients. The result is fairly low-yielding vines that produce intense, flavor-packed clusters. The two exceptional clone selections are perfectly matched to the climate of the Russian River Valley and, when planted at such an ideal site, can’t help but give rise to a wine that seems to reach new levels of quality in each successive vintage.

    • Vineyards: El Diablo Vineyard
    • Appellation: Russian River Valley
    • Vine Age: 12 years
    • Clones: Old Wente and Montrachet
    • Soil: Goldridge, fine sandy loam
  • 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: Approximately 11 months fermentation and aging in barrel followed by 4-6 months in stainless steel.
    • Filtration: Unfiltered
    • Fining: Unfined
  • Technical Information

    • Varietal Composition: 100% Chardonnay
    • Alcohol: 14.4%
  • Tasting Notes

    • Green apple, lemon oil, and white peach notes emerge on the nose and form the core of the 2020 edition of the El Diablo Vineyard Chardonnay. Lemon-lime flavors are enhanced by notes of white pepper and a beam of bright acidity on the palate.



  • U.V.- El Diablo Vineyard Chardonnay, Russian River Valley — 2020 – Wine Spectator – 94 Points

    “Elegant and composed, with perfectly ripe Bartlett pear, yellow apple and citrus zest at the core, plus hints of buttery pie crust and touches of vanilla cream and dried apple. Delicate, balanced and extremely nuanced, with a fresh thread of acidity gaining momentum on the finish.”

  • U.V.- El Diablo Vineyard Chardonnay, Russian River Valley — 2020 – Vinous – 90 Points

    "The 2020 Chardonnay U.V. El Diablo Vineyard shows real inner strength, naturally in the lighter style of the year. Dried herbs, stone, orchard fruit and chamomile bring out the more savory, mineral side of Sonoma Coast Chardonnay. This is very fine for the year."