- 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: 2021-2026+
About The Wine
Arista's signature Chardonnay encapsulated the very best of the region. The fruit is sourced from the Ritchie, Banfield and U.V. El Diablo, and Arista Estate Vineyards, and has the famed balance of intensity, richness and pure energy that you want from a great Russian River Valley Chardonnay.
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 the 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 Russian River Valley Chardonnay 2018
"The 2018 Chardonnay Russian River Valley comes from declassified barrels from Arista's single-vineyard program in addition to some purchased fruit. Made with about 15% new oak, the nose features toasty yellow apples, jasmine, honey and a streak of graphite. The satiny palate manages full, ripe fruits and fresh lift, finishing with great length and an alluring hint of matchstick."
94 points, Erin Brooks (The Wine Advocate, Nov. 2021)
"Starting off with the appellation 2018 Chardonnay Russian River Valley from Arista, this smoking Chardonnay would be ideal for readers trying to understand the style of Arista as well as the overall quality of this estate. Offering up a light golden hue as well as a beautiful perfume of stone fruits, pear, honeyed minerality, and white flowers, it hits the palate with more medium-bodied richness, a round, supple, layered texture, beautifully integrated acidity, and one heck of a great finish. This is one incredible appellation Chardonnay that should be snatched up by readers."
93 points, Jeb Dunnuck (July 2021)