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2008 Cypress Vineyards White Zinfandel

The windswept Cypress tree, the unmistakable signature plant of California’s coastal terrain, owes its gnarled appearance to the maritime air’s persistent movement either inland or seaward.  The ocean’s influence on the Central Coast winegrowing region is significant, keeping coastal and inland valleys refreshing cool, while preserving the grape’s natural acidity and flavor. Temperature is critical for development of fragrance, flavor and acidity – too little heat, and grapes rarely ripen, too much and the acidity, delicate and endearing qualities of the grape are lost.  For Cypress Vineyards White Zinfandel, the daily cooling air from the Pacific moves directly from Monterey Bay and down the Monterey appellations of the Salinas Valley, creating a White Zinfandel with delicate raspberry, strawberry and watermelon aromas and flavors matched with a crisp acidity.  Harvesting and pressing in the vineyard at night ensures the preservation of these bright fruit flavors.


Technical Data

Varietal Composition: 76.2% Zinfandel, 23.8% Gewurztraminer
Total Acidity: 0.71 g/100ml
pH: 3.15
Alcohol: 11.4% alcohol by volume
Residual Sugar: 2.01 g/100ml


Winemaker's Comments

The 2008 Cypress Vineyards White Zinfandel has an attractive rosy-pink color with bright aromas of fresh strawberries, lychee, watermelon and cotton candy.  It is deliciously refreshing in its style of strawberry and melon fruit flavors, crisp acidity and hint of spritz, to balance its touch of residual sugar. Enjoy with barbecued chicken, salmon or as an ideal picnic-quaffing wine.

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2005 J. Lohr Cuvée St.E

The inspiration for J. Lohr Cuvée St. E comes from the Grand Cru wines of St. Emilion from the Right Bank of Bordeaux. These memorable wines are composed primarily of Cabernet Franc and Merlot, with touches of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Petit Verdot. We give ourselves the freedom to emulate these great wines without the restrictions of varietal percentages, instead keenly focusing on the texture and complexity of the blend that nature delivers with each vintage.

 


VINTAGE
The 2005 vintage proved a remarkable challenge for our J. Lohr Cuvée program. Despite a return to healthy rainfall, berry size was larger than average in 2005, which delayed ripening. We bled our best blocks of Bordeaux varietals to concentrate the flavors, but with the exception of Cabernet Franc, the sole cuvée to meet our quality standards was Cuvée St. E. Cabernet Franc typically is one of the first Bordeaux varietals to ripen, and although finicky, continues to surprise us with its consistent finish each year as one of our top wines.


TECHNICAL DATA

Origin: Paso Robles
Composition: 45% Cabernet Franc, 44% Petit Verdot, 5.6% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5.4% Merlot
Harvest Dates: Cabernet Franc - October 3rd, 2005
Petit Verdot – September 24, 2005
Process: Harvest late-morning, destemmed and crushed to stainless steel fermenters
Harvest Chemistries: 25.7º Brix average, pH=3.59, Total Acidity=0.45 g/100 ml
Vinification:  
Yeast: Lalvin D254
Fermentation: Stainless steel fermented
Temperature: 87ºF
Extended Maceration: 7 Days
Malolactic: Inoculation in stainless steel and completion in 100% New French oak barrels.
Maturation: 21 Months in 80% New French oak barrels
Barrel Type: 80% New French oak barrel Bordeaux Chateau Ferré-style barrels (60.9 gallons)
Forests: Center of France
Cooper(s): Tonnellerie Sylvain, Tonnellerie Vicard and Tonnellerie Bel Air, Bordeaux, France
Post-Maturation: Bulldog rack from barrels, membrane filtered to bottle
Bottling Date: July 16, 200
Bottle Aging: 13 months in bottle prior to release
Bottling Chemistries:
pH: 3.65
Total Acidity: 0.65 g/100
Alcohol: 14.99% by volume
Production 1,200 6-bottle cases

WINEMAKER'S COMMENTS
The 2005 J. Lohr Cuvée St. E is dark red-purple in color with aromas of sour cherry, coffee and violet, with touches of chocolate, vanilla, honey and toasted oak from twenty one months aging in new French oak barrels. The wine displays the true varietal nature of Cabernet Franc, with ample weight and mid to rear structure from both the fruit and the maturation time. On release, this wine will already have one year of bottle age but will develop additional complexity well into the future. In its youth, it should be enjoyed with pan-seared filet mignon, or ribeye steak with a berry-infused reduction sauce. We recommend decanting one hour prior to serving. Jeff Meier, winemaker


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2007 J. Lohr Gesture Mourvèdre

The 2007 vintage was largely defined by a shortage of winter rainfall which was just 40% of normal. This resulted in intense fruit with 10-20% lower yields than 2005 and 2006 in general. Seasonal summer heat spikes occurred earlier than normal, before the fruit had softened at veraison. The daily maximum temperature exceeded 100 degrees only three times between veraison and harvest in this vineyard, which allowed slow, even flavor and color development in this late ripening Rhône variety native to Spain.


VINEYARDS

The Mourvèdre for this wine was grown in the Gravity Hills Vineyard, located in the Willow Creek district on the western edge of the Paso Robles AVA. These ten-year-old vines are planted on a steep, southwest facing, limeshale hillside. The 23% slope in this block makes just walking the vineyard very difficult. Our farming plan brings the crop to one cluster per shoot for this large-clustered variety, which requires trimming off the wings and the lower third of the clusters shortly after set to intensify flavor and color. We hand-harvested into half-ton bins on October 31st. Weather was ideal for bringing about full ripeness in 2007, and the final picking decision was predicated on a moderation of fruit acidity just before picking.

We used 15% Syrah clone 877 from block 1 of Terra Bella Vineyard to round out this varietal blend. Located at 1800 feet elevation within the warmer Adelaida district of the Paso Robles AVA, this fruit was picked on October 11th. Terra Bella Vineyard has quickly attracted the attention of Rhône-style winemakers since its development in 2001.


TECHNICAL DATA

 

Origin: Gravity Hills and Terra Bella Vineyards
Varietal: 85% Mourvèdre, 15% Syrah
Brix at Harvest: 28° Brix average
Total Acidity: 0.70 g/100 ml
pH at Bottling: 3.50
Alcohol: 15.96% by volume
Residual Sugar: 0.15 g/100ml
Vinification: After de-stemming, the berries were sorted on our VB Mistral system. Cold soaked fruit was fermented in open top tanks with a gentle punch-down regime. After fermenting to dryness in tank, this wine underwent malolactic fermentation in barrel.
Maturation: 15 months barrel aging in one and two-year-old French oak.
Bottling Date: March 17th, 2009; 392 cases produced.

Winemaker's Comments

Mourvèdre is generally utilized as a blending variety to contribute “bass notes” to Rhône-style wine blends. Bottled as a standalone varietal, Mourvèdre can often deliver gamey, tannic wines with earthy overtones… not the case here in our debut 2007 J. Lohr Gesture Mourvèdre. Immediately after pressing, this wine offered such nice black fruit aromatics of berry and cherry and wonderfully voluminous, yet velvety mid-palate weight that we decided to release it as a varietal offering to complement pan-seared pepper steak with mushrooms.

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2007 J. Lohr Gesture Syrah

The 2007 vintage was largely defined by a shortage of winter rainfall which was just 40% of normal. This resulted in intense fruit with 10-20% lower yields than 2005 and 2006 in general. Seasonal summer heat spikes occurred earlier than normal, before the fruit had softened at veraison. The daily maximum temperature exceeded 100 degrees only three times between veraison and harvest at this vineyard, which preserved the fruit aromatics and soft tannins.


VINEYARDS
Terra Bella Vineyard is located at 1,800 foot elevation within the Adelaida district of the Paso Robles AVA. Blocks 2 and 6 planted to Syrah clone 877 were the top performers for us and were used to create this wonderful wine. Terra Bella Vineyard has attracted a lot of attention from luxury winemakers since its development in 2001.


TECHNICAL DATA

 

Origin: Terra Bella Vineyard
Varietal: 100% Syrah
Brix at Harvest: 27.8° Brix average
Total Acidity: 0.69 g/100 ml
pH at Bottling: 3.49
Alcohol: 15.39% by volume
Residual Sugar: 0.21 g/100ml
Vinification: After destemming, the berries were sorted on our VB Mistral system. Cold soaked fruit was fermented in half ton bins with a gentle punch-down regime. Malolactic fermentation in barrel.
Maturation: 15 months barrel aging in French oak (25% new).
Bottling Date: March 17th, 2009; 233 cases produced.

Winemaker's Comments

A truly top-tier Syrah is defined not just by dark fruit aroma and seductive oaky flavor, but also by an invitingly plush mouth feel. My earliest tasting notes taken during the debut vintage of 2007
J. Lohr Gesture Syrah identified this wine for its dense flavors and soft, voluminous palate. We nurtured the blend through aging with sequential movements from newer to older cooperage over time to limit and integrate oak components and to preserve freshness of fruit. My bet is that this wine will showcase its fruit best with 2 to 5 years of bottle age and will make an excellent accompaniment to braised veal shanks.

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2007 J. Lohr Gesture GSM

The 2007 vintage was largely defined by a shortage of winter rainfall which was just 40% of normal. This resulted in intense fruit with 10-20% lower yields than 2005 and 2006 in general. Seasonal summer heat spikes occurred earlier than normal, before the fruit had softened at veraison. The daily maximum temperature exceeded 100 degrees only three times between veraison and harvest at these sites, which helped to maintain the freshness of fruit and soft mouthfeel which is the signature of this debut Rhône blend inspired by our friends in the south of France.


VINEYARDS
The source of the Grenache and Mourvèdre components of this blend is the Gravity Hills Vineyard, located in the Willow Creek district on the western edge of the Paso Robles AVA. These ten-year old-vines are planted on a steep, southwest facing, limeshale hillside. The 23% slope in these blocks makes just walking the vineyard very difficult. Our farming plan brings the crop to one cluster per shoot. These large-clustered varieties require trimming off the wings and the lower third of the clusters shortly after set to intensify flavor. Both varieties were hand harvested into half-ton bins on October 31st. Weather was ideal for bringing about full ripeness in 2007, and the final picking decision was predicated on a moderation of fruit acidity just before picking.


TECHNICAL DATA

 

Origin: Gravity Hills and Terra Bella Vineyards
Varietal: 50% Grenache, 38% Syrah, and 12% Mourvèdre
Brix at Harvest: 28° Brix average
Total Acidity: 0.71 g/100 ml
pH at Bottling: 3.42
Alcohol: 15.88% by volume
Residual Sugar: 0.22 g/100ml
Vinification: After destemming, the berries were sorted on our VB Mistral system. Cold soaked fruit was fermented in open top tanks with a gentle punch-down regime. One third of Grenache was fermented in new Francois Frères barrels with heads removed. Malolactic fermentation was completed in barrel.
Maturation: 15 months barrel aging in one and two-year-old French oak.
Bottling Date: March 17th, 2009; 609 cases produced.

Winemaker's Comments

We are pleased with how the farming, winemaking and aging came successfully together to preserve and showcase the fresh, wild berry fragrance of the Grenache fruit in the debut release of 2007 J. Lohr Gesture GSM. The Syrah component has brought body, depth and dark berry fruit notes to the mid-palate, while Mourvèdre has provided volume and black pepper spice to the finish. With proper storage, the fruit character will likely peak after two or three winters in the cellar, and the phenolic structure will continue to evolve and soften over the next decade.     Enjoy this Rhône red blend with braised or roasted duck.

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2009 J. Lohr Estates Wildflower Valdiguié

VINTAGE
With El Niño conditions firmly in place, we were hit with our first significant harvest-time rain in recent memory on October 13th, 2009 which precipitated the harvest of this beautiful Valdiguié crop on October 22nd. Flavors were concentrated and yields low, following four years of drought in California. Valdiguié is a very large-berried variety requiring extra vigilance from our Greenfield vineyard team to prune to only one bud per spur, and to aggressively thin any extra shoots pushing from the spur area.  Otherwise, our yields get too high and ripening becomes difficult for this late-maturing varietal. In our winemaking, our goal is to preserve Valdiguié’s wonderful natural acidity and fresh fruit flavors. We incorporate two different winemaking techniques to achieve this.  In 2009, we handpicked roughly 15% of the fruit and put those whole clusters directly into the fermenters, in a winemaking process called carbonic maceration – no yeast or pumping over of the fruit is done. The other technique is to gently de-stem and crush the fruit going to the fermenter, pump over and extract with fairly short, warm fermentations. These processes give the wine a remarkable similarity to the wines of Beaujolais, with enticing berry fruit flavors, a vibrant color and soft tannins. Malolactic fermentation is discouraged in order to preserve bright acidity and fruit character.


VALDIGUIÉ

Our 2009 J. Lohr Estates Wildflower Valdiguié was grown on Chualar loam soil in the Arroyo Seco appellation of Monterey County.  Originally thought to be the Gamay Noir grape of France’s Beaujolais winegrowing region, U.C. Davis has since identified this grape to be Valdiguié from an area in the southwest of France.  Regardless of its origin and identity, Valdiguié grown in the windy, cold Arroyo Seco produces a wine reminiscent of the ‘Crus’ of Beaujolais – Morgon, Fleurie and Moulin-à-Vent.

 


TECHNICAL DATA

 

Origin: Wildflower, Monterey County
Composition: 100% Valdiguié
Harvest Date: October 22nd and 23rd, 2009
Brix at Harvest: 22.7° Brix average
Total Acidity: 0.69 g/100 ml
pH at Bottling: 3.31
Alcohol: 12.7% by volume
Residual Sugar: 0.66 g/100 ml
Vinification: Stainless steel fermented
13% Carbonic maceration (whole cluster fermented)
87% Traditional red wine fermentation. Fermentation to 85°F
Bottling Date: December 4th,2009

WINEMAKER’S COMMENTS

The 2009 J. Lohr Estates Wildflower Valdiguié is a vibrant, red-purple in color with bright aromas of boysenberry, Bing cherry, raspberry and banana. The fruit complexion on the palate is equally bright, yet shows suppleness and body throughout the mid-palate. The luscious fruit finish is dominated by boysenberry and raspberry, making this wine ideal as an aperitif or paired with grilled salmon. Drink your last bottle just in time for the release of the new vintage! Serve chilled.

Steve Peck , red winemaker


Price: $10.00 750ml

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2009 J. Lohr Estates Bay Mist White Riesling

The 2009 vintage in many ways resembled that of 2008, with the exception that the early blast of heat during flowering gratefully missed the critical set period and yields, and as a result, returned to near normal levels in 2009.   We had two significant heat events in April and May, with temperatures exceeding 95 degrees Fahrenheit. The weather then immediately returned to cool and foggy in May, June, July, and all but the last weeks of August.  We witnessed Indian Summer temperatures in early September, which provided the final push for the late ripening White Riesling to reach desired maturity, with harvest commencing on the 19th of October at nearly 24° Brix, 3.30 pH and 0.63 grams/100 ml of acidity.   Some early season El Niño rain induced some Botrytis, or Noble rot in the 2009 vintage giving the Riesling an elevated apricot fruit character.


White Riesling
The release of the 2009 marks the thirty-third vintage of White Riesling from our Bay Mist vineyards in Monterey County.  The vines are grown in well drained Chualar and Elder loam soils underlain by stones deposited from the Arroyo Seco, as well as Metz and Arroyo Seco gravelly, sandy loams. The winds of the Salinas Valley extend the growing season, and the fruit retains the natural grape acids.  The pure manifestation of fruit from the vineyards is our primary goal in producing this varietal, employing a combination of cultured yeasts fermented in stainless steel.


TECHNICAL DATA

 

Origin: Arroyo Seco, Monterey County
Composition: 94% White Riesling,
5% Gewurztraminer
1% Orange Muscat
Harvest Date: October 19th to 20th, 2009
Brix at Harvest: 23.5° average
Total Acidity: 0.67 g/100 ml
pH at Bottling: 3.16
Alcohol: 12.84% by volume
Residual Sugar: 2.15 g/100 ml
Vinification: Stainless steel fermented
M2 (Terpene and thiol varietal character enhancing)
R-HST (Terpene varietal character enhancing)
Maturation: Four months in stainless steel post fermentation
Bottling Date: February 5th, 2010

Winemaker's Comments
The 2009 J. Lohr Estates Bay Mist White Riesling is a pale, youthful brassy yellow color with enticing fruit aromas of apple, apricot, peach, Bosc pear, rose petal and linalool.  The palate echoes the fruit aromas with apricot, apple and rose petal spice combined with refreshing acidity and slight palate spritz balanced by the 2.15% residual sugar. The 2009 White Riesling is an enticingly fruity, refreshing wine capable of complementing the vibrant flavors of Pacific Rim cuisine such as Thai chicken or beef satay, grilled soy-marinated salmon or served as an aperitif.

 

Price: $10.00 750ml
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2008 J. Lohr Estates South Ridge Syrah

Vintage
The 2008 growing season presented signicant challenges to California winegrowers. Spring and autumn frosts--coupled with heat spikes, which impacted flowering and maturation--claimed much of the prized crop. Yields were at half of normal levels in the Paso Robles AVA, depending on variety, microclimate and cultural practices. This was the second consecutive vintage of drought, which limited vine growth and reduced cluster and berry size. Our Rhône varieties were fully ripened before the impact of fall frosts. Complete flavor development and seed maturity allowed for extended maceration in the fermenters. This wine shows density and a lovely expression of blueberry aromas and the complex varietal flavors of Syrah.


Vineyard
The J. Lohr Estates South Ridge Syrah is grown on a combination of predominantly sandy and gravelly soils, to reign in Syrah’s rangy growth potential. The name South Ridge is derived from the orientation of its namesake vineyard, which sits on a southfacing hillside, resulting in fruit with intense flavors. As the popularity of Syrah has grown, we have planted two additional estate vineyards, one within a mile of the original planting, and the second is eight miles south in a slightly cooler area of the Paso Robles AVA.


TECHNICAL DATA

 

Origin: Paso Robles AVA, San Luis Obispo County
Varietal: 93% Syrah, 3% Petite Sirah, 3% Grenache, 1% other reds
Brix at Harvest: 27.7° average
Total Acidity: 0.63 g/100 ml
pH at Bottling: 3.79
Alcohol: 13.45% by volume
Residual Sugar: 0.24 g/100ml
Vinification: Stainless steel fermented
Malolactic fermentation in barrel
Maturation: 14 months barrel aging in French and American oak, 25% new
Harvest Dates: September 2 through October 18, 2008

Winemaker's Comments
Dark crimson with a vibrant hue. Rich, ripe aromas of blueberry and black tea are framed with a bouquet of chestnut, and bolstered by flavors of blackberry and boysenberry. Medium body and a firm tannin structure. The finish is soft with just enough fruit acidity to activate the palate for pairings.

Steve Peck, red winemaker

 

Price: $15.00 750ml

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2007 J. Lohr Estates Los Osos Merlot

2007 was a very dry year in Paso Robles, with the seasonal total for rainfall registering a scant 4.4 inches.  Paso Robles was met with serious but short heat waves around the 4th of July and then in the beginning of August, the latter of which hit prior to veraison and had little effect on color development in our red varieties. Crop size was initially below projected in every vineyard, with smaller than average berry size--yet with excellent fruit quality, moderate tannins and deep, rich color.  This harvest temperament serves the Merlot variety well, offering ripe and juicy fruit flavors resulting from Paso Robles’ nearly extreme growing conditions.


Merlot
Traditionally, we harvest our estate-grown Merlot grapes across a range of sugar ripeness. The early picks usually capture the classic varietal definition of Merlot, while the fruit harvested later adds depth and intensity to the wine.  Clone and rootstock combinations, along with variations in soil add complexity to our 2007 J. Lohr Estates Los Osos Merlot, as does the introduction of recently planted Italian clones.  We grow our Merlot grapes in Nacimiento-Los Osos, Arbuckle-San Ysidro and Arbuckle-Positas complex soils on our Los Osos vineyard in Paso Robles, where these well-drained but relatively poor soils have chalky or gravelly components.  


TECHNICAL DATA

 

Origin: Paso Robles AVA, Los Osos Vineyard and Creston
Composition: 88% Merlot, 6% Malbec, 4% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon
Brix at harvest: 25.8°
Brix Total acidity: 0.63 g/100 ml
pH at bottling: 3.67
Alcohol: 13.76% by volume
Residual sugar: Dry
Vinification: Stainless steel fermented. Malolactic in tank, racked and blended after fermentation
Maturation: 11 months in barrel, primarily American oak, 25% new
Bottling date: March 2009

Winemaker's Comments
The 2007 J. Lohr Estates Los Osos Merlot is dark crimson with a vibrant hue. Aromas of black cherry and blackberry fruit are framed with a signature, light chestnut oak note to complement the flavors of currant and cranberry. The addition of Malbec and Petit Verdot bring characteristic bright notes to an already flavorful wine. Our J. Lohr Los Osos Merlot is medium-bodied with firm and structured tannins, with a finish that is bright and activates the palate. Enjoy now or within ten years, with pork roast in a plum reduction sauce, or baked or roasted chicken.

 

Price: $15.00 750ml

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2008 J. Lohr Estates Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2008 growing season presented signicant challenges to California winegrowers. Spring and autumn frosts--coupled with heat spikes, which impacted flowering and maturation--claimed much of the prized crop. Yields were at half of normal levels in the Paso Robles AVA, depending on variety, microclimate and cultural practices. This was the second consecutive vintage of drought, which limited vine growth and reduced cluster and berry size. The silver lining, of course, is that the reduced berry size made for high extract, intensely flavored Cabernet Sauvignon wines. The quality of the 2008 vintage is apparent in the wine’s density and strong regional expression of black cherry and blackberry fruit, with melted, dark chocolate tannin flavors


Cabernet Sauvignon
The predominant fruit for our J. Lohr Estates Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon comes from estate vineyards located directly opposite our J. Lohr Paso Robles Wine Center. The Seven Oaks vineyard was originally planted on its own rootstock, utilizing some of the original plantings from indigenous Estrella clones. The soils in our Paso Robles vineyards vary from gravelly clay loam to limestone-based soils over a relatively small parcel of land, and various rootstock and clonal combinations have been used to maximize the expression of each individual site. The different soil types and planting combinations add to and complement the palate of the Seven Oaks Cabernet and the other red varietals we produce--including Petit Verdot and Merlot--to add balance and weight to the wine.


TECHNICAL DATA

 

Origin: Seven Oaks Vineyard, Paso Robles
Composition: 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petite Sirah, 4% Syrah, 3% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 1% other reds
Total Acidity: 0.67 g/100 ml
pH at Bottling: 3.79
Alcohol: 13.7% by volume
Residual Sugar: Dry
Vinification: Stainless steel fermented
Malolactic fermentation in stainless steel tanks and barrels
Maturation: 12 to 14 months aging in primarily American oak
Harvest Dates: Sept 15 through October 28, 2008

Winemaker's Comments
A bouyant red-purple color with bright hues. Generous aromas of black cherry, black currant and plum fruit, complemented by vanilla, tar and toasty notes from the twelve to fourteen months in barrel. On the palate, the fruit flavors echo the aroma, complexed with blackberry and a plump, softly texture mouthfeel and finish.

Jeff Meier, winemaker

 

Price: $17.00 750ml

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