2005 Kick Ranch Sauvignon Blanc
Sauvignon Blanc • Kick Ranch
California: Sonoma County
What we say
If you are visiting us for the first time, Welcome! The Wine Spies feature one exceptional wine each day – and we only bring you wines that we ourselves seek out and love. Always, the wines are great. Sometimes even better than that, as is the case with today’s wine from Carica Wines.
SUPER SONOMA TUESDAY ALERT!
Some of the best wines in the world are made right here in Sonoma County. Every Tuesday, The Wine Spies proudly feature one great Sonoma County winery.
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT!
We always feature great wines, but today’s wine is incredibly great! Grab some, Operative, before we run out
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Mission Codename: The Harbinger of Spring
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Recover a stellar Sauvignon Blanc for our Operatives
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Winery
Wine Subject: 2005 Kick Ranch Sauvignon Blanc
Winemaker: Charlie Dollbaum
Backgrounder: Now that Spring has sprung, Wine Spies operatives have been writing in requesting, no demanding, a great Springtime white to cure their post-Winter blues. We send Agent White out to investigate Carica Cellars. Read his tasting notes below on today’s spring-fresh Sauv Blanc
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Pale straw yellow with a loose and bouncy surface, glinting highlights and thick legs that start low on the glass
Smell – Fresh floral notes with tropical guava, pineapple, lime and grapefruit with pear and limestone
Feel – Crisp and very round with velvety tannins
Taste – Tropical, balanced sweet and slightly tart with flavors of citrus, guava, starfruit, passion fruit and granny smith apple skins
Finish – Crisp and lingering with a really unique (mellow) icy-warm feeling that lingers with the long-lasting flavors – that eventually taper off, leaving a light freshness behind
Conclusion – A perfect Springtime companion, this wine presents itself beautifully from start to finish. With a great mouth-feel, layers of flavor and great aromatics, this wine transports you.
I don’t know about you, dear Operative, but I for one am happy that Spring has finally arrived! Here in California, the wildflowers are in bloom, vintners are beginning to come alive again, long after the post-bottling doldrums have set in.
Springtime is a great time for the wine industry. Its filled with the promise of new releases and fine white wines. Enough with the big and hearty reds already, bring on the fresh white wines for a change!
For today’s wine, we were very lucky to have been introduced to Carica proprietor, Dick Keenan, by one of our Sonoma County assets. This asset knew of my need for a great white and insisted that we taste Carica’s Sauvignon Blanc. Honestly, my arm needed little twisting and I agreed to take a meeting with Mr. Keenan at his Kick Ranch vineyards.
I had heard of Kick Ranch previously as other wine producers have sourced grapes there. The vineyards reputation for unique growing conditions, soils and perfect climate had earned the vineyard a stellar reputation.
In a springtime mood myself, I was happy that Dick was great fun to hang out with. The ranch was beautiful and the vineyards unique. With its rocky soils, limited water and long sun-exposure, this is a challenging vineyard to grow in – which means that if you get it right, you really get it right.
We spent the afternoon talking about the vineyards, the winemaker, Charlie Dollbaum, and the wines created here. Then we opened a bottle of today’s heavenly Sauvignon Blanc. Delicious. Right there on the spot, Dick was able make a small allocation available to our Operatives.
If you enjoy Sauv Blanc from New Zealand or from Pouilly Fumé in the Loire Valley in France, you will appreciate this wine very much. While these two regions are world-famous for producing some of the finest Sauvignon Blanc in the world, I’d place this particular Sauv Blanc right there in the same company.
Welcome to Spring. Enjoy this great Sauvignon Blanc!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Kick Ranch Vineyardcan be seen in this satellite photo.
Kick Ranch vineyard is owned and planted by Dick Keenan and Kathy McNamara. Located in Sonoma’s Rincon Valley, Kick Ranch is on the western side of the northern flank of Spring Mountain, which separates Sonoma and Napa Counties. The vineyard is sited on an alluvial bench having soil with an amazing mix of volcanic and other rock that contributes a rich minerality to wines. The vineyard is laid out for perfect sun exposure and has a 20 mile vista down to the Petaluma Wind Gap, providing cool nights and foggy mornings, ideal conditions for growing premium wine grapes.
Dick’s commitment to provide Carica Wines with ultra premium fruit is backed by sustainable farming practices with a focus on healthy, balanced vines,tended by one of Sonoma County’s premier vineyard managers. Kick Ranch grapes arenow sought after by several other premium wineries.
What the winery says
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About This Wine:
Carica 2005 Sauvignon Blanc, a blend of 60% Sauvignon Blanc and 40% Sauvignon Musque, is made in a classic style like the great wines of Pouilly Fumé, Sancerre and New Zealand’s Marlborough coast. With clean, tropical flavors and crisp acidity, Carica Sauvignon Blanc opens with floral notes and aromas of pineapple and grapefruit. Tasting of guava, citrus, and passion fruit, the wine has a prolonged, refreshing finish.
About The Winery:
Carica Wines is a new winery started in 2005 by two friends, Charlie Dollbaum and Dick Keenan, to produce wines of extraordinary character fromsmall lots of premium Sonoma County wine grapes. Dick has supplied the grapes, and Charlie his winemaking skills, for our first bottling –a 2005 Sauvignon Blanc.
Our winery takes its name from the hardy fig trees (botanical name, Ficus carica) that accent the source of our wine grapes, Kick Ranch vineyard. Carica’s fig leaf insignia is inspired by these trees, too. Kick Ranch vineyard is owned and planted by Dick Keenan and Kathy McNamara. Located in Sonoma’s Rincon Valley, Kick Ranch is on the western side of the northern flank of Spring Mountain, which separates Sonoma and Napa Counties. The vineyard is sited on an alluvial bench having soil with an amazing mix of volcanic and other rock that contributes a rich minerality to wines. The vineyard is laid out for perfect sun exposure and has a20 mile vista down to the Petaluma Wind Gap, providing cool nights and foggy mornings, ideal conditions for growing premium wine grapes. Dick’s commitment to provide Carica Wines with ultra premium fruit is backed by sustainable farming practices with a focus on healthy, balanced vines, tended by one of Sonoma County’s premier vineyard managers. Kick Ranch grapes are now sought after by several other premium wineries.
The saying that great wine is made in a vineyard really only tells half the story. Charlie took his years of private wine making to a new level with Carica Wines. Winemaking’s marriage of art and science comes naturally to Charlie, who originally trained in the biological sciences at UC Davis, and then turned his decades of experience in medical research and biotech laboratory science to enology. Beginning with the 2005 crush on September 23, he has directed every step of Carica’s winemaking process.
Harvested: September 19, 2005
Varietals: 60% Sauvignon Blanc, 40% Sauvignon Musque
Production: Harvested cold in early a.m., whole cluster pressed and cold settled for 36 hour prior to start of fermentation.
Titratable acidity: 0.83g/100ml
Fermentation: 90% of wine cold fermented for 35 days in stainless steel tank to dryness at an average temperature of 54 degrees Fahrenheit
Cooperage: 10% of the wine was barrel fermented in new French oak with lees stirring and blended back into tank fermented wine prior to cold stabilization.
Bottled: April 20, 2006