Santa Barbara County
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 2016 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.
Blend: 100% Riesling | Alc: 13.5% | Vinification: Barrel Fermented in Neutral French Oak | Barrel Aging: 9 Months | Total Production: 363 cases
“I always love the Riesling from this team and the 2016 Riesling Kick On is another terrific example of the variety. Lychee nut, lime, mints, and ample citrus notes all emerge from this pure, medium-bodied, slightly off-dry effort that’s going to be about as versatile as it get on the dinner table.” Jeb Dunnuck- 91 Points
Antonio Galloni’s Vinous
“The 2016 Riesling Kick On Ranch is another fabulous white from Ojai. Lime, white flowers and citrus are nicely pushed forward in the 2016 Riesling Kick On Ranch. Beautifully perfumed and expressive, the Riesling has so much to offer.” 2018-2024 91 Points– AG