Arista Winery

California: Russian River Valley, United States

U.V. Pinot Noir, Lucky Well, Russian River Valley – 2017

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  • Vineyard Profile

    • The Lucky Well vineyard sits atop a knoll on the western edge of the Sebastopol hills outside of the towns of Graton and Sebastopol. The area is home to some of the most highly acclaimed Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vineyards in the Russian River Valley due in large part to the perfect confluence of soil, climate, and elevation. The vineyard is in an area often referred to as the “banana belt” of the Russian River Valley because, though on the very coolest, foggiest, and western edge of the appellation, it sits on a knoll that rises above the fog line. This feature exposes the fruit to more gentle sunlight, which allows very slow and even ripening across the entire growing season. Our 4-acre section was planted in 2008 to Pommard, Swan, and Calera clones of Pinot Noir.

    • Vine Age: 11 years
    • Clones: Heritage Selections of Calera and Swan
    • Soil: Goldridge
  • Vinification

    • Cold grapes arrive at the winery early in the morning after having been picked at night. The clusters are sorted by hand and then destemmed into small, open-top fermenters. The juice is allowed to warm gradually and naturally in the fermenter. Given that all of the wines are made with native yeasts and are not inoculated, this cold-soak period can vary between 5-8 days depending on how long it takes these native populations to build up and begin fermentation. Pinot Noir fermentations are kept below 85 degrees. The wines always go through malolactic fermentation. The wines then spend the next 11 months in barrel, and the wine is racked clean just prior to bottling.

    • Filtration: Unfiltered
    • Fining: Unfined
    • Bottle Aging: 11 months in barrel
  • Tasting Notes

    • Lucky Well Vineyard is perched at the very top of Stoetz Ridge, the land mass that divides the true Sonoma Coast from the Russian River Valley. As such, the wine made from this site always expresses qualities from both regions: the hightoned wild berry fruit and earthiness of the Coast, and the power, richness, and complexity of the Russian River Valley. A captivating nose of rose water, blue and black fruits, Asian spice, and wild blackberries fills the glass. The palate is a fusion of salted caramel, blueberry, wild strawberry, and just-ripe black plum. The wine possesses effortless balance, with bright but well-integrated acidity that matches perfectly with the fruit profile. The flavors expand on the palate and are carried by a firm, mineral-laden backbone for a minute or more. Peak drinking window: 2020 through 2030.



  • Arista Winery Pinot Noir, Lucky Well, Russian River Valley – 2017 – The Wine Advocate – 95 Points

    Medium ruby-purple, the 2017 Pinot Noir UV Lucky Well Vineyard offers aromas of charcuterie, raspberries and blackberries with accents of tangerine, potpourri and floral perfume. Medium-bodied and silky, it has concentrated, perfumed red berry fruits in the mouth with a firm, grainy frame and addicting freshness, gaining even more perfume and flesh through the long finish. Lovely! It will benefit from another 2-3 years in bottle.

  • Arista Winery Pinot Noir, Lucky Well, Russian River Valley – 2017 – Jeb Dunnuck – 94 Points

    A classic effort, the 2017 Pinot Noir UV Lucky Well Vineyard is another fresh, focused red from Arista that has lots of mulberry and raspberry fruit as well as notes of savory herbs, dried earth, and spice. Playing in the medium-bodied, elegant end of the spectrum, with good acidity and fine yet notable tannins, it has a core of sweet fruit but almost has a Sonoma Coast-like texture and structure. Give bottles a year or two and enjoy through 2027+.