Santa Barbara County

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Most people don’t realize that Riesling can be either sweet or dry. In Germany the whole classification system for Riesling was until recently based on the sweetness level of the wine, the sweeter the nobler. But in the last decade there has been a movement there to produce quality dry wines and a new classification of great growths or GG’s that are carefully chosen vineyard sites that represent the best of German viticulture. Another example of dry Riesling is Austria, which after the wine scandals of the 1970’s embarked on a revolution of closing the co-ops that were producing plunk, and changing to a system of grower/ producers who quickly proved that stellar wines could be made, with dry Riesling being the center piece of that effort.

I discovered these dry style Rieslings in the early 1990’s when I moved back to Ojai. I was desperate to find a wine I could enjoy on those hot summer evenings and dry Riesling was just the ticket. This got me interested in making Riesling, and it was a happy coincidence that I found a cool climate vineyard on the western edge of the Los Alamos Valley in Santa Barbara County, only a few miles from where Jim Clendenen and I started Au Bon Climat in 1982.

Blend: 100% Riesling | Alc: 13.5% | Vinification: 100% Neutral French Oak | Barrel Aging: 6 Months | Total Production: 205 cases

Press Reviews

Robert Parkers’s Wine Advocate

“The Riesling Kick-on Ranch comes from a downright cold site and was harvested towards the middle of Oct ober. Made with four grams residual sugar, it offers classic lychee nut, citrus, lemongrass, lime and green herbs as well as a medium-bodied, rich mid-palate and a dry finish. Beautifully made, I’d enjoy it in its fresh and lively youth, although I’m sure it could age as well” – JD 90 Points

Antonio Galloni’s Vinous

“Pears, apples, mint and white flowers jump from the glass in the Riesling. A decidedly creamy, floral-infused wine, the 2012 impresses for its balance and the pure pleasure it provides. The combination of slightly lower yields from the poor set and the blocked malo style works beautifully here.” – AG 93 Points