Arista Winery has easily been one of the hottest American wineries in the last half decade and it’s no surprise why. With access to some of the state’s most elite vineyard sites up and down the coast, an estate right next to the legendary Sonoma winery, William Selyem and a scorching hot winemaker, Arista has established itself as a force to be reckoned with.
Winemaker, Matt Courtney had the incredible fortune of being the apprentice under the super famous, Helen Turley for eight years on her cult project, Marcassin. It’s there he learned how to make Burgundian varietals from one of the best– helping serve their allocation list and their 5000+ person waitlist!
The 2018 vintage was ridiculously kind to Arista – a vintage which saw 10(!) of their wines receive at least 95-points from the world’s most respected wine critic, The Wine Advocate. This baby is tied for their highest scoring Chardonnay – a gorgeous single-vineyard collector’s item that most likely represents the top quality coming out of the Russian River Valley these days.
This one is a ‘must-have’ for Chardonnay collectors. The Banfield Vineyard Chardonnay comes from the northern edge of the Green Valley, a sub-appellation of the Russian River Valley. As Brian Talley can tell you, it’s ideal for growing Chardonnay due to the cooling influence of coastal fog. The vineyard is dry-farmed and was planted in 1980 with the Wente Chardonnay Clone, a highly prized selection of Chardonnay know for its small, loose clusters and intensely flavored grapes. The 30+ year old vines are extremely rare in the RRV and produce lower yields per acre which means more expression, flavors and smells. This is a gorgeous and unique vineyard that serves as the proud home for this great wine.
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97 Points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
The 2018 Chardonnay Banfield Vineyard has tremendous energy and singular expression this vintage. The nose is a kaleidoscope of quince, coriander seed, honeysuckle and pastry, continually changing as it spends time in the glass. The palate balances bursts of juicy preserved citrus character with deeper tones of graphite and almond, its flavors continuing to shift and evolve, and it finishes with exceptional energy and length. Wow!
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