Best buys | Ojai vineyard Roll Ranch Syrah 1998

Best buys

Ojai vineyard Roll Ranch Syrah 1998

It’s always a treat to drink great old wines, especially when they’re on top form like this fabulous syrah from Californian producer Ojai in the Santa Maria valley.

It was brought along by a chef friend Martin Lam who used to own Ransome’s Dock - a restaurant which had a wonderful Californian wine list.

Despite its age it was drinking wonderfully - mellow, figgy with just a touch of leather - a perfect match with the venison and white polenta we had as a main course

I can’t find the Roll Ranch bottling anywhere in the UK so I wonder if they’ve sold it or no longer have the use of that fruit but it would be well worth buying one of their other syrahs to lay down. If you just want to try a bottle, Harvey Nichols has the 2012 Sebastiano vineyard syrah for £50.

Here's further encouragement to buy Californian syrah from wine expert Jon Bonné who recommends Ojai’s Solomon Hills Syrah among others though, again, that particular bottling no longer seems to be available

Definitely a wine to snap up if and when you see it.

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