Oakville Ranch Vineyard sits high up on the Vaca range, tucked just below the southern edge of Pritchard Hill. Farmed organically with great heart and attention to every leaf and bug by the brilliant Phil Coturri. The soils are comprised of gorgeous Aiken and Hambright series red volcanics and the hills, swails, and aspects mean many little microclimates for layers and complexity. Cool air spills and drains through this geomorphic bowl of vine rows daily, retaining acidity and freshness of flavors in the berries. Phil's canopies are the perfect balance between health and stress, spread open at the top for ideal holy grail dappled light, giving greater nuance to the red fruit notes that are a signature of this sun-bathed ranch. Working with Phil and his dedicated team really feels like a true collaboration to make something special, which is essential when making world-class wines with a soul. This wine is a tribute to Helen’s dad, Robert Barr Keplinger. Helen’s interest in wine was sparked by her dad’s wine cellar, which was the daily source of bottles served alongside her mom’s home cooked gourmet dinners. Thus began Helen’s journey in wine, and this ode of gratitude is a small piece of the legacy left by RBK.
The RBK from Oakville Ranch Vineyard opens with a dark, seductive nose of purple plum, intense violets, wild blueberry, cassis, graphite, fresh cut thyme, and black tea. The palate has an incredibly silky entry, with notes of cassis, boysenberry, pipe tobacco, and black licorice, with heady floral notes, and opulent tannins through to the lengthy finish. Delicious now, it will also age well, provided you can keep your hands off it.