2021 The Ojai Vineyard Roll Ranch Viognier California, USA
Viognier is a grape that takes no coaxing to be showy and expressive. Oftentimes it’s too saturating. Our Roll Ranch Viognier is a rare creature in that sense. The aromas are earthy, floral and enticing, while the palate is uncommonly fresh and snappy. This 2021 bottling flaunts fragrances of white jasmine and honeysuckle, along with an earthy vineyard character, showing streaks of dusty minerality, walnuts and fennel. The palate opens with a crack of minerality then expands into broad textures laced with flavors of green pluot, honeycomb, and tangerine. It closes out with a zesty finish that’s laced with crunchy minerality and spicy notes of galangal and anise. Rich and racy, it’s a Viognier that sings with food. It’s perfect with peaches and burrata, and hearty braises.
VINTAGE & WINEMAKING
2021 was a steadily cool year, not unlike ’18 and ’19. Still, that leaves Ojai plenty sunny and warm—highs in the 80s and low 90s. We picked a healthy crop of 1.75 tons per acre on August 30th, with a racy pH of 3.15 at 22.3 brix. Fifteen or so years ago the grapes were so ripe by late August that we chose to make dessert wines. This bottling is a great testament to the maturity of the vineyard.
After whole cluster pressing and overnight settling, we filled neutral French oak barrels with the juice and inoculated with our house-cultured native yeast (obtained from fruit picked during sampling). After the wine became dry we stirred the lees to encourage natural malolactic fermentation. Ultimately the wine was aged on the lees for eleven months before bottling in Summer.