2017 Ojai Vineyard Riesling Kick On Ranch

Year: 2017
Appellation: Santa Barbara County
Country: USA-California
Wine Advocate: 90
Vinous Media: 90
Connoisseurs' Guide: 91
Jeb Dunnuck: 92
White Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 13.5%
Price :

"The 2017 Riesling Kick On Ranch has a spicy, floral-tinged nose of musk, lemon-lime, petrichor and yellow peach with tropical fruits and honey touches in the background. The palate is medium-bodied and a bit weightier than expected but with lots of mineral and citrus zip and zing, finishing long and crisp. This has an appealing dichotomy of weight with fruit purity and delicacy. 180 cases produced." (WA)

"The 2017 Riesling is another gorgeous, super-expressive white from Ojai. Mint, lime peel, white flowers and green apple are all beautifully delineated. Striking aromatics and lovely inner perfume add character to this delicious, inviting Santa Barbara Riesling."(VM)

"The new 2017 Riesling from The Ojai Vineyard is a vibrant, uncommonly complex, dry-finished rendition that offers up far-ranging aromas and flavors of fresh limes and green apples set against more subtle notes of minerals and wet stones, and it manages to be rich, ripe and marvelously light on its feet all at once. It is meticulously balanced and sure to make true believers out of any who might question the variety's ability to produce utterly compelling, age-worthy dry wines, and, when properly cellared, it should evolve beautifully for no fewer than another half-dozen years. Reviewed: September 2019" (CG)

"Exotic lime, quince, and lychee nut notes emerge from the 2017 Riesling Kick On Vineyard and it’s more dry and crisp than normal while still playing in the off-dry category. Medium-bodied, beautifully balanced, and just a joy to drink, it should keep nicely for upwards of a decade, although I see no need to delay gratification." (JD)

Winery Notes:
Few wines are as invigorating as a great dry riesling, or as versatile! When I moved to Ojai full time in the early 90s I’d forgotten just how hot it can be in the summer time, and I found myself opening a lot of dry Austrian and German rieslings to beat the heat. Without residual sugar, the grape provides a zippy, electric feel that lends a drinker a little perkiness-an equally perfect antidote for the lethargic effects of summer heat, or winter gluttony!

For years I hankered to make a riesling, but for a long period there wasn’t much of it grown in Santa Barbara County. It was in 2007 that I discovered Kick On Ranch, and I immediately jumped on board with the fruit and haven’t looked back since. Being out so far west on Highway 135, Kick On takes the full brunt of the cool Pacific winds that converge and narrow into the little Los Alamos Valley. It’s a rare day that one enjoys T-shirt weather at Kick On, so riesling matures slowly and retains a tense and racy character each year.

This 2017 bottling takes me back to those Austrian bottles I got into so many years ago. Usually a few months after bottling, this riesling has more of a primary fruitiness in aroma, but this wine has a striking earthy prominence now. White tea, minerals, and kaffir lime leaves up front, then lemon meringue, tangerine zest and some tough-to-place white fruit—cherimoya? No matter, this is delicious and vibrant dry riesling that vintage to vintage surprises our tasting room guests who come in thinking that riesling has to be sweet.