Upper Ojai, Ventura County
We have been making ice wine from viognier grapes from Roll Ranch vineyard in Ojai since 1996 and over the years have learned what attributes we like to see in this very sweet dessert wine. In 2013 the vintage surprised us. Viognier ’s perfume and natural acidity that year are wonderful attributes that brings a level of drinkability and deliciousness we hadn’t seen before in such a sweet wine.
You can’t make real ice wine in California, but making it our way–taking healthy grapes to a commercial freezer—has its advantages. Instead of waiting for that rare day that is cold enough to pick frozen grapes on the vine, we can choose to harvest when the grapes are at the peak of flavor.
Our ice wine grapes are picked, driven to a commercial freezer, and then brought to the winery a few days later for pressing. By pressing grapes while still frozen ice crystals are left behind, and only concentrated grape juice is recovered. The 40% sugar content press juice was drained into older barrels for fermentation and aging and then bottled into half bottles in the spring. The evocative aromas of peach and pear are followed by flavors of honey, peach and buttered toast. This full throttle sweet wine (25% residual sugar) is a perfect match for fruit desserts like pie or cobbler and has enough floral riesling character to stand up to chocolate as well.
Blend: 100% Viognier | Alc: 8.0% | Vinification: 100% Neutral Oak | Barrel Aging: 7 Months | Total Production: 157 cases (325 ml bottle)
Antonio Galloni’s Vinous
“Apricot, mango, spices and a host of tropical fruits emerge from the 2013 Viognier Ice Wine Roll Ranch Vineyard. Lavender and mint add an attractive upper register. The Viognier Ice Wine is richer and weightier in texture than the Riesling Ice Wine, and will appeal most to readers who like richer dessert wines. Volatile acidity – which is present in all wines, especially sweet wines – is borderline noticeable here and may prove distracting to readers who are especially sensitive.”- AG 91 Points
Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
“A step up, the 2013 Viognier Ice Wine Roll Ranch checks in at a tiny 8% alcohol and was harvested, frozen, pressed and then aged all in neutral oak. It’s a beautiful dessert wine that offers fabulous apricot and honeyed peach-like aromas and flavors that flow nicely to a rich, decadent, yet clean and classy profile on the palate. This beauty balances its acid and sugar perfectly, and is a joy to drink. I’d lean toward drinking bottles over the coming couple of years, although I suspect it will have an interesting evolution beyond that as well. ” – JR 92 Points