Arista Winery

California: Russian River Valley, United States

Chardonnay, El Diablo 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: El Diablo Vineyard is a steep, east-facing site on Windsor Ridge in the eastern reaches of the Russian River Valley appellation. This orientation allows the vines to benefit from the warming rays of the morning sun, while being protected from the direct impact of mid-summer afternoon heat. The result is a wine made from grapes that are fully ripe, but never lacking in bright acidity. In fact, the El Diablo Vineyard bottling is consistently one of our most focused and linear Chardonnays.

  • Vineyard Profile

    • Ulises Valdez established El Diablo Vineyard in 2008 on the eastern edge of the Russian River Valley Appellation. The site’s location allows for morning fog and afternoon sun, enabling ideal vine conditions. The vineyard features Montrachet and Old Wente Chardonnay selections grafted to rootstock 420a, planted tightly to encourage competition for nutrients. The result is low-yielding, intensely flavored clusters. These selections, perfectly suited to the local climate and site, consistently produce high-quality wine.

    • Appellation: Russian River Valley
    • Location: California
    • Cultivation: Sustainable
    • Vine Age: 13 years old
    • Soil: Goldridge, fine sandy loam
    • Exposure: East facing slopes
  • Vintage Report

    • The 2021 vintage was marked by ideal weather conditions, resulting in exceptional fruit from our vineyard partners throughout Northern California and from our estate. The winter was relatively dry in California, leading to an early bud break and small yields. Beautiful warm weather during the summer and the absence of extreme heat spikes in the latter half of the season allowed for excellent fruit maturation. As the season progressed, the theme of “early” continued, leading to a prompt harvest in advance of fall rains. The wines from 2021 represent a new high-water mark for wine quality at Arista. They’re true reflections of a wonderful season at Arista and across California.

  • 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: 13.9%
  • 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.