Upper Ojai , Ventura County
Roll Ranch is a wine of many contradictions. Most warm climate syrahs have a heavy, fruity sameness that can get tiresome, yet here we have a wine with a lively and unique personality. This syrah has an evocative aroma of pine, sage and damp earth. There are sappy plum pit and cherry aromas as well—with no hint of overripe heaviness. It is savory and rich with a nice bittersweet chocolate aftertaste. The 2005 harvest gave us wines that are fresh and alive.
The vineyard, located in the Upper Ojai Valley, has an unusual climate for a protected southern Californian valley. At an elevation of about 1000 feet, it receives excesses of everything—heat during the day, cooling fog from the ocean at night, and some of the highest rainfall totals in the area. The soil, an alluvial decomposition of the local mountain, Topa Topa, is a red sandy loam that is extremely nutrient poor. The vines either grow with excess vigor or a decided lack thereof depending on annual rainfall. 2005 was a huge rainfall year, so we had to go through the vineyard again and again, trimming out excessively vigorous shoots and trimming clusters. The attention paid to the vines has rewarded us once again with a terrific syrah.
Blend: 98% Syrah, 2% Viognier | Alcohol: 14.5% | Vinification: 20% New French Oak | Barrel Aging: 22 Months | Total Production: 516 Cases
Robert Parkers’s Wine Advocate
“Always one of Ojai’s softer, more opulent efforts, the dark ruby/purple-tinged 2005 Syrah Roll Ranch reveals sweet notes of mocha, licorice, blackberries, and cassis. It does not possess the definition and delineation of its siblings, but it offers excellent to outstanding depth, a beautiful, round texture, and plenty of fruit and opulence. Enjoy it over the next 7-8 years.” -91 points
Connoisseurs’s Guide To California Wine
“The latest Roll Ranch bottling is a dense, compelling fruited effort whose classic mix of blackberries, dark earth, white pepper, sweet oak and game tags it as this issues most exciting. It is at once both supple and sturdy with lots of heft on the palate.” -96 points