Upper Ojai, Ventura County

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Roll Ranch is unusual. Most warm climate vineyards have no problem ripening fruit, the issue is whether they can produce balanced wines. Vineyards in warm sites generally turn out grapes with too much sugar and too little acidity, the resulting wines are often awkward.

I don’t know if it’s the magic that vineyard guru Martin Ramirez performs or whether Roll Ranch, under the dramatic striated cliffs of Topa Topa Mountain, is fortuitously endowed but somehow this vineyard produces a singular and exciting syrah every year. And we have noticed that as the vineyard has aged (first crop was in 1995) it is producing better and better quality grapes. I am particularly thrilled with this 2010, there is a freshness and tension that is riveting. The Roll syrahs have always needed some cellar time before they are at their best, and I think drinking them at about 10 years of age is about right, however this 2010 is quite precocious now. There is a beguiling aroma of crushed raspberries and blackberries with discreet woodsy notes poking through the effusive fruit. The flavors are explosive; a rich round attack is followed by very fine texture and soft tannins. Flavors linger on the palate and finish with a nice bitter-chocolate quality. It is delicious now, and will age effortlessly for years to come.

Blend: 98% Syrah 2% Viognier | Alc: 14.5% | Vinification: 20% New French Oak | Barrel Aging: 18 Months | Total Production: 299 cases

Press Reviews

Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

“The 2010 Syrah Roll Ranch is year-in, year-out, an outstanding wine. It also happens to age beautifully. Looking at this vintage, it sports an inky purple color to go with loads of black and blue fruits, licorice, ground herbs and distinct minerality. Similarly styled on the palate, it has medium to full-bodied richness, ripe tannin and a rocking finish. I like it now, but there’s some upside here as well. Ideally, it would be given 2-3 years in the cellar and will have 15 years or more of prime drinking.” – JD 93+ Points

Antonio Galloni’s Vinous

“Black fruit, scorched earth, smoke, tobacco and iron burst from the glass in the 2010 Syrah Roll Ranch Vineyard. A rich, explosive Syrah, the Roll Ranch is not for the timid. The sheer power and intensity of the fruit take hold of all the senses and never let up. This is the only Ojai Syrah that is co-fermented with a dollop of Viognier, which is felt in the wine’s perfumed, floral-laced finish. This is yet another gorgeous new release from Ojai.” – AG 95 Points