2018 Ojai Vineyard Riesling Kick On Ranch

Year: 2018
Appellation: Santa Barbara County
Country: USA-California
Wine Advocate: 92
Vinous Media: 94
Connoisseurs' Guide: 89
Jeb Dunnuck: 91
White Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 13.0%
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"The 2018 Riesling Kick On Ranch is lovely, with powerful scents of white blossom mingling with fresh lime and peach on the nose, with a slate-like undercurrent. Medium-bodied, it has generous, pure fruit character with bright freshness and a long, gently textured finish. 181 cases were made." (WA)

"The 2018 Riesling Kick On Ranch is a gorgeous, exotic white. The slightly sweet style (3 grams of residual sugar) takes some adjustment, as all the other whites in this range are, of course, dry. Passionfruit, mint, candied lemon peel, ginger and dried flowers are some of the notes that grace this utterly exquisite Riesling from Adam Tolmach and Fabien Castel. Half of the wine saw about eight hours on the skins, an approach that works beautifully here. I loved it." (VM)

"Inclining to ripeness yet not favoring sweetness and moderately full-bodied on the palate, this dry-finished Riesling smacks of peaches, apricots and melony fruit with a distinctive lychee-like note appearing in both scent and taste. Its very long-lasting, slightly grapefruity finish is punctuated by a touch of stony spice, and its slightly fuller, yet well-balanced construction will allow for particularly successful pairing with richer chicken and fleshy fish dishes. Reviewed: September 2020" (CG)

"Notes of green herbs, lychee nut, citrus, and sappy flowers emerge from the 2018 Riesling Kick On, which is another medium-bodied white from this estate offering bright, clean acidity, good concentration, and a balanced, elegant style that's a joy to drink.

I continue to love the wines from Adam Tolmach and Fabien Castel. These lean firmly toward the fresher, elegant end of the spectrum, yet I always find the wines to have wonderful depth of fruit, terrific balance, and singular characters." (JD)

Winery Notes:
We’ve been making dry Riesling from Kick On Ranch since 2007. For the folks expecting something sweet, this wine comes out of left field with its wildly expressive personality and racy lip-smacking acidity. It’s an extra showy yet elegant alternative to throw in the mix for the go-to Sauvignon Blanc folks, and a perennial hit at our Tasting Room.

Much of that is thanks to the slow, gradual ripening out at Kick On Ranch. This sandy-soiled vineyard is a few miles West of Los Alamos, getting close to the ocean. That narrow East-West valley pinches the Pacific Westerlies through here, making it one hostile, windy and goose-bumpy environment for people. These grapes are the last white fruit we harvest, and they come in with terrific acidity, thick snappy skins and loads of phenolic development.

In 2018 we picked this fruit on October 12th. After pressing and settling we transferred the juice to ferment in neutral French Oak, where it spent 7 months on its lees.

When this wine is young the aromas are very primary, and utterly arresting that way. There’s this effusive intensity of fragrances that seem to come from tropical market stands: nectarous ginger blossom, soursop fruit, limes. Tugging harder you’ll find that earthy ballast of white tea and salty minerals. The palate is cool-hued with tangy lime and mint, with pulses of orangier fruit (like loquat) coming before the fine tea-like clench in the finish. It will get more laid back and mineral-driven with two to three years in bottle. Have it young and spunky, or aged and refined. We love it both ways.