Ojai Pinot Noir Kick On Ranch 2016, Santa Barbara County, California

Growing Pinot Noir this far south generally entails growing very near the coast. Out at Kick On Ranch, vines are right in line with a wind gap that feeds cool Pacific inflected air throughout the vineyard, which is just a few miles inland in the Los Alamos Valley. “The switch to mild weather gave us a gradual staggered harvest, so we got to pick at just the right time and all the vineyards had lots of time to build personality. After getting through a thin lacquer of pretty lilac aromas there’s an almost arrogantly macho quality to this wine, with pipe tobacco, dusty leather, and sagebrush all popping up in the mix. At first the palate is all earth and mushroomy umami, then air brings out candied red fruits and pomegranate with nervy persistence. We decided to give this wine a few more days on its skins, which brought that feel of virility full circle with some good tannic grip. With this kind of density and tension the wine will age gracefully (like the 2011), though the flavors and aromas are plenty open for enjoying now. Something flavorful but not heavy (like white beans with ham hocks, or glazed salmon) will bring out a lot of beauty in this wine.” – Winery Blend: 100% Pinot Noir | Alc: 12.5% | Vinification: traditional open top fermentation | Barrel Aging: 13 Months in French Oak, 25% New | Total Production: 180 cases