Arista Winery

California: Russian River Valley, United States

Chardonnay, U.V.-El Diablo Vineyard, Russian River Valley – 2017

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  • Vineyard Profile

    • Ulises Valdez planted the El Diablo Vineyard in 2008. The site is located on a ridge off of Eastside Road that 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 by early afternoon the marine layer burns off and the vines are able to soak in several hours of warm sunlight. Careful thought was put into both rootstock and clonal selection for the vineyard. Our blocks of Chardonnay are planted to Old Wente and Montrachet Selections and were 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 low yielding vines that produce intense, flavor packed clusters. Though young now, the exceptional potential of this site is already very apparent.

    • Vineyards: El Diablo Vineyard
    • Appellation: Russian River Valley
    • Vine Age: 11 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.

    • Filtration: Unfiltered
    • Fining: Unfined
  • Technical Information

    • Varietal Composition: 100% Chardonnay
  • Tasting Notes

    • The 2017 U.V. El Diablo Vineyard Chardonnay was crafted from grapes grown by the esteemed vineyard manager Ulises Valdez. Ulises planted our two favorite clones of Chardonnay, “Montrachet” and “Old Wente”, on the eastern banks of the Russian River. Notes of Key lime, white stone fruit, sweet cream, lemon curd, mint, brioche, cut hay, and panna cotta marry bright acidity and refreshing minerality. Peak drinking window: 2020 through 2030.



  • Arista Winery Chardonnay, U.V.-El Diablo Vineyard, Russian River Valley – 2017 – The Wine Advocate – 94+ Points

    The 2017 Chardonnay UV - El Diablo Vineyard is slow to open aromatically at this stage, offering glimpses of citrus blossom, honeyed almonds, saline and orange peel with a core of quince, gaining intensity and nuance as it sits in the glass. It explodes in the mouth with savory, concentrated flavor layers, and it's medium-bodied, ultra silky and fresh with a very long, energetic finish. This has great potential to gain depth and nuance in bottle, so forget it in the cellar for a couple of years.

  • Arista Winery Chardonnay, U.V.-El Diablo Vineyard, Russian River Valley — 2017 – Wine Spectator – 94 Points

    Big, complex and rich-tasting, with ripe apple, baked pear and quince paste flavors, offering curry spice accents. Toasty notes glide across the palate on the plush, buttery finish. Drink now through 2025. 210 cases made.

  • Arista Winery Chardonnay, U.V.-El Diablo Vineyard, Russian River Valley – 2017 – Jeb Dunnuck – 96+ Points

    A bigger, richer wine, the 2017 Chardonnay UV El Diablo Vineyard comes from a great site in the Russian River. Aged a year in one-third new French oak, its medium golden hue is followed by a Meursault-like bouquet of buttered stone fruits, Meyer lemons, flower oil, crushed rock, and toasty oak. Rich, full-bodied, and concentrated on the palate, it has terrific acidity, flawless balance, and depth and richness to spare. It's a stunning bottle of Chardonnay that will benefit from a year in bottle and cruise for 7-8 years or more.

  • Arista Winery Chardonnay, U.V.-El Diablo Vineyard, Russian River Valley – 2017 – Vinous – 94 Points

    The 2017 Chardonnay U.V. El Diablo Vineyard brings together all the best elements of the Arista house style. Rich, bold and luscious, with no hard edges, the 2017 is a real showstopper. Apricot, honeysuckle, orange confit, wildflower, butter, tropical fruit and honeyed notes all race across the palate in this deep, stunning and creamy Chardonnay.