Arista Winery

California: Russian River Valley, United States

Chardonnay, Russian River Valley – 2016

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  • Vineyard Profile

    • The Russian River Valley Chardonnay blend combines our old vine plantings, ideal growing conditions, and unique terroir producing a wine that demonstrates the full potential of the Russian River Valley appellation. The combination of vine age, site, and winemaking produce a profound wine that provides great insight into the vintage and appellation each year.

    • Vineyards: Banfield, Ritchie, El Diablo, Arista Estate Vineyard
    • Clones: Old Wente and Montrachet
  • 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: Unfined, unfiltered
  • Technical Information

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

    • A wine that presents great richness and silkiness, yet still possesses structure. Notes of white peach, toast, sweet cream, and white pepper greet the nose, while flavors of orchard fruit, quince and Asian pear (and pear skin) are buoyed by a savory and mouth-watering mix of tangy acidity and minerals on the finish.



  • Arista Winery Chardonnay, Russian River Valley – 2016 – Vinous – 93 Points

    Arista's 2016 Chardonnay (Russian River Valley) is rich, ample and beautifully resonant in the glass. Apricot, tangerine, white pepper, mint and lightly honeyed notes all grace this flamboyant, rich Chardonnay, which is a great introduction to the Arista wines. Vineyard sources are El Diablo, Ritchie and Banfield and the estate. All of the wines in this range are compelling, but the Russian River Valley Chardonnay is the under-the-radar gem

  • Arista Russian River Valley Chardonnay – 2016 – Jeb Dunnuck – 94 Points

    Arista Winery was founded in 2002 by Al and Janis McWilliams but is run today by their sons Mark and Ben, who took over the reins in 2012. They’ve brought on board winemaker Matt Courtney, revamped vineyards, and renovated the cellar, all of which appears to have paid off as they’ve fashioned some of the top wines in this report. Readers looking for the next superstar estate are advised to get on the bandwagon...

  • Arista Winery Chardonnay Russian River Valley – 2016 – The Wine Advocate – 92+ Points

    The 2016 Chardonnay Russian River Valley opens with scents of beeswax, honey toast and toasted hazelnut with a core of citrus and white tree fruits. It's medium to full-bodied and very rich in the mouth with loads of honeyed fruits, tangy acidity and great texture to carry the long, savory finish.

  • Arista Chardonnay Russian River Valley – 2016 -Wine Spectator – 93 Points

    This glides across the palate, offering a deft, well-knit mix of white fruit, spice and creamy components. Minerally midpalate, with a finish that features some savory hints. Drink now through 2024.