Arista Winery

California: Russian River Valley, United States

Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley – 2017

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  • Vineyard Profile

    • The Russian River Valley blend represents the unique characteristics of the appellation that set it apart from other growing regions. This wine is defined by its rich weight and texture and by the dark fruit profile commonly associated with the Russian River Valley. The wine is assembled using select lots from our Westside Road Estate Vineyard as well as selections from the Toboni, Lucky Well, and Mononi Vineyards We use no de-classified wine or “filler” vineyards for this appellation blend. Instead, tthis wine is viewed as a blend of our single vineyard and estate wines and is an excellent survey of the vintage and appellation each year.

    • Vineyards: Toboni, Lucky Well, Mononi, Arista Estate Vineyard
    • Appellation: Russian River Valley
    • Clones: Heritage Selections of Swan, Calera, and various Dijon Clones
  • 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.

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

    • The 2017 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir is a fresh, vibrant example of wines from the appellation in a great vintage. With a beautiful dark, translucent, garnet color, the wine invites the taster in. One is greeted by a nose of cool blue fruits, Herbes de Provence, black olive, spiced candy, and damp forest floor. A modest 20% new French oak frames a core of crunchy red fruit on the palate. The wine possesses great length with tangy acidity, and finishes with an herbal note and grippy tannins that marry pleasantly with the fruit and help carry the long finish. Peak drinking window: 2019 through 2026.



  • Arista Winery Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley – 2017 – The Wine Advocate – 90 Points

    Light to medium ruby, the 2017 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley is scented of cranberry sauce, dried lavender, tangerine peel, tea leaves and earth. Medium-bodied, it offers bright, spicy fruits with a soft frame and juicy finish.

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

    Moving to the reds, the 2017 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley was all destemmed (as are all the Pinot Noirs here) and was brought up 11 months in just 20% new French oak. Its ruby/plum and translucent hue is followed by a savory nose of mulled black cherry and currant fruits interwoven with lots of spice, forest floor, earth, and bouquet garni. Textured and medium-bodied, with good acidity and great balance, I suspect it's going to benefit from a year or two of bottle age and should have a decade or more of overall longevity.

  • Arista Winery Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley – 2017 – Vinous – 91 Points

    The 2017 Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley) is bold, luscious and easy to drink. Sweet tobacco, cedar, mint, licorice and orange peel add nuance to this super-expressive Russian River Pinot. I would prefer to cellar it for a year or two. It is a stellar wine at the appellation level. There is a lot going on in this wine of great aromatic presence.

  • Arista Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley – 2017 – Wine Spectator – 93 Points

    Well-structured, with notes of underbrush to the burnished dried cherry and berry flavors. Minerally midpalate, revealing a long, rich finish that features a savory focus. Powerful yet elegant. Drink now through 2025.