Kick Ranch is considered one of Sonoma’s “marquee vineyards”; a nirvana for Rhone varieties. Just off Calistoga Road, on the western foothills of Spring Mountain within the Mayacamas mountain range, it is cooled by winds that blow straight through the Petaluma Gap. These winds, along with the gentle hillside slopes and deep soils with river gravels washed from the mountains naturally devigorate the vines resulting in tiny clusters with tiny berries. They gave us Grenache with wonderful depth and mid palate sumptuousness in a cool-climate elegant style.
The 2016 Grenache was fully destemmed then fermented in a single open top tank. The fermentation and total time on skins lasted over two weeks and was done using only pump-overs. Just before going dry, this was pressed to French oak barrels, both 60 and 120 gallons. We only like used oak for our Grenache, we want to allow the character of the vineyard to fully express itself by itself. Matured for 20 months in these barrels, before bottling without fining or filtration.
A distinct departure from prior vintages of TOR Grenache, the cooler climate of Kick Ranch Vineyard has given us a very pretty, aromatic, fresh, elegant style of Grenache, with the depth and mid-palate sumptuousness characteristic of the best examples of this beloved variety. Perfumed aromatics of raspberry, lavender, thyme, rose petals, kirsch and licorice, the finish is bright and the tannins are velvet textured.
To put it simply – this was one of our great modern vintages in the Napa Valley. It almost had a Bordeaux feeling to it – moderate rainfall for all but three months before the real rains arrived in October. By then, everything was in the barn. No significant heat spikes, which made for a very long, even growing season. The only complaint I had with all our vineyard sites was, I wish I had harvested more grapes. Cluster size and weights were down, and we were 20% off average when we finished picking. It was one of those years you wish you just had more grapes. Spectacular quality, both reds and whites. The wines have deep colors, structure, concentration, and depth of flavor.