- Producer: Arista Winery - read about the Estate
- Winemaker: Matt Courtney
- Region (AVA): Sonoma Coast (Russian River Valley)
- Blend: 100% Chardonnay
- Vintage production: n/a
- Winery location: Russian River Valley (Sonoma)
- Owners: Mark & Ben McWilliams
- First vintage: 2009
- Drinking window: 2021-2031+
About The Wine
The Banfield Vineyard Chardonnay comes from the northern edge of the Green Valley, a sub-appellation of the Russian River Valley. The location of this vineyard is ideal for growing Chardonnay due to the cooling influence of coastal fog. This dry farmed vineyard was planted in 1980 to the Wente Selection of Chardonnay, a highly prized selection of Chardonnay know for its small, loose clusters and intensely flavored grapes. The 30+ year old vines are rare in the Russian River Valley and produce lower yields per acre. What’s lost in yield is more than compensated for in flavuor and quality as is evidenced through the wines produced year after year. The combination of site and vine age represent a truly unique and distinct vineyard.
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 the 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.
Arista Winery Banfield Vineyard Chardonnay 2018
"The Chardonnay blocks in Banfield Vineyard are some of the coolest sites we work with. These forty-year-old vines, planted to the Old Wente selection of Chardonnay, reside in a protected pocket of the Russian River Valley that collects cool night air, and warms up slowly only when the midmorning sun peeks over the surrounding hills. Aromas of lime zest, fresh mandarin, wet granite, lavender, and grilled bread emanate from the glass. The wine has firm texture, mid-weight density, and an oyster shell minerality with notes of Asian pear, quince, grilled peach, lime curd, wet stones, and candied lemon peel that build in intensity through the mid-palate and carry the long, vibrant finish. Peak drinking window: 2021 through 2031"
Matt Courtney, Winemaker