Upper Ojai, Ventura CountyVIRR

People seem to notice that The Ojai Vineyard wines have a singular sensibility. And lots of tasters realize that by design I am not trying to make typical California wine, and they know there are flavor realms out there beyond the usual sweet and heavy, and see that savory and refreshing wines are clearly more interesting.

One person that I met recently who shared that viewpoint was Cristiano Garella of the winery Tenuta Sella in Italy, a young man with a clear vision of what he likes. We tasted through my wines here in the cellar, and it was fascinating to see how he reacted. He was not the least bit impressed by fat or fruit, but was solely interested in the underlying terroir and minerality of a wine. I had him taste the 2009 Viognier from barrel, a wine that I was particularly fond of. Others had found it a bit shocking, as it was not in the typical, fruity, soft, low-acid style of California viogniers, but Cristiano understood the wine. It was lovely to taste with someone who was focusing on the wine’s essence, rather than the superficial attributes of ripeness.

This delightfully different viognier was barrel fermented in older French oak barrels, and aged on the lees for 11 months before bottling in August 2010. It has aromas of wet stones and lime; it is quite subtle and intriguing. The mouth feel is juicy, floral and mineral. The perfect wine for raw oysters? Sure, why not!

Blend: 100% Viognier | Alcohol: 14.0% | Vinification: 100% Neutral French Oak | Barrel Aging: 11 Months | Total Production: 229 cases

2009 Roll ranch Viognier One Sheet