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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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2008 J. Lohr Estates Riverstone Chardonnay

The vintage of 2008 was the third consecutive drought year in the Central Coast with total rainfall amounting to less than seven inches. Additionally, we had a very hard freeze in January followed by very cool weather all the way to bloom in May. The end result was record low yields in Chardonnay primarily due to cool, windy weather during set.  The only silver lining to this vintage was very mild weather throughout the summer with typical Monterey County fog and winds for much of June, July and August. We made a conscious decision to pick all of our Chardonnay fruit at riper levels, especially the French clones 76, 95 and 96 to further enrich the flavor of Riverstone Chardonnay. In 2008, that meant waiting until October 1st for the first pick of our French clone Chardonnay in Blocks 2 and 4 at 25.2° Brix and concluding harvest on October 23rd with the final pick of California clone Chardonnay at 26.1° Brix.


Chardonnay

The 2008 vintage marks the twenty-second year of production of our Riverstone Chardonnay, from our vineyards in the Arroyo Seco region of Monterey County. Each year, starting in 1995, we have experimented with and have incorporated higher percentages of traditional Burgundian production techniques into Riverstone, until the desired complexity and end-results were achieved (reaching 60% in 2000).  The result is a complex and nuanced Chardonnay with an abundance of Arroyo Seco fruit, with subtle barrel fermentation and malolactic character.  The vines are grown primarily on Elder loam soils underlain by "riverstones" deposited over thousands of years from the Arroyo Seco River, allowing a four-foot rooting zone that keeps the vines’ vegetative growth and fruit in balance. Additionally, the cool climate and winds of the Salinas Valley extend the growing season and retain the natural grape acids and intense varietal character of the Chardonnay.


TECHNICAL DATA

 

Origin: Riverstone, Arroyo Seco AVA
Composition: 100% Chardonnay
Harvest Dates: October 1st to October 23rd, 2008
Brix at Harvest: 25.8° average
Total Acidity: 0.70 g/100 ml
pH at Bottling: 3.58
Alcohol: 13.9% by volume
Vinification: 100% barrel fermented in combination of American, Hungarian and French oak at 55 to 65° F.
Malolactic fermentation in barrel of 50% of the Chardonnay
Maturation: 8 to 10 months in combination of American, Hungarian and French Oak Barrels from new to fourth fill

Winemaker's Comments

The 2008 J. Lohr Estates Riverstone Chardonnay has a very youthful straw yellow color.  The aromas are of ripe bosc pear, fuji apple, lime and honeysuckle combined with the perfumed vanilla and toasty oak bouquet from the barrel fermentation, malolactic fermentation and sur lie aging creating an elegant Chardonnay from Monterey’s Arroyo Seco AVA. The flavors are very clean with ripe pear, subtle floral notes and vanilla toastiness, producing layers of complexity with an excellent balance of fresh fruit acidity and palate-weight. This wine is ideal for pairing with oven-roasted chicken, Dungeness crab or grilled salmon.

Jeff Meier, winemaker

 

Price: $14.00 750ml
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2007 J. Lohr Tower Road Petite Sirah

VINTAGE

The 2007 vintage offered up some stellar wines from our Paso Robles vineyards including the second release of J. Lohr Tower Road Petite Sirah for limited national distribution. Originally created as a wine for our two J. Lohr Wine Centers in San Jose and Paso Robles, the Tower Road Petite Sirah quickly became a favorite of our visiting distributors, often requesting it for their respective markets. It is built on a backbone of Petite Sirah, which is in many ways not petite at all. In fact, it is the largest-berried and largest-clustered variety we grow in Paso Robles, and amazingly, it is also the variety with the greatest phenolic content, with gobs of color and tannin. In most years with Petite Sirah, it is more an exercise in restraining the extraction rather than trying to maximize it. The 2007 vintage includes our block 64 Petite Sirah vineyard bounded on its southern end by Tower Road. The vintage was outstanding for Petite Sirah, producing jet-black fruit with tremendous berry fruit flavors. Although the wine is made to showcase Petite Sirah, the blend is supported by some other Paso favorites, including Grenache and Syrah, which lengthen palate and brighten fruit expression. This is a big, beautifully-colored and extracted wine, sure to please those who enjoy big reds.

 


TECHNICAL DATA

 

Origin: Paso Robles AVA, San Luis Obispo County
Composition: 91% Petite Sirah, 6% Grenache, and 3% Syrah
Harvest Dates: September 19th thru October 12th, 2007
Process: Hand-harvested early morning, destemmed and crushed to twelve and twenty-four ton stainless steel fermenters
Harvest Numbers: 27.0° Brix average, pH=3.65, Total Acidity 0.45 g/100 ml
Vinification: Yeast: Pasteur Red

Fermentation: Stainless steel fermented with punchdowns and manual pumpovers

Temperature: To 92°F

Maceration:5 days

Maloactic: Inoculation in stainless steel and completion in 60% new French, Hungarian and American oak barrels

Maturation: Fifteen months in oak barrels; 60% new oak

Barrel Type: 30% new French, 15% new Bulgarian and 15% new American oak

Forests: Nevers, Center of France, Bulgarian, Missouri

Coopers: Francois Frères, Desrieux, Meyrieux, World Cooperage

Post-Maturation: Rack from barrels, egg white fine and bottle
Bottling Numbers:

pH: 3.65

Total Acidity: 0.66g/l00ml

Alcohol:14.8% by volume

Res. Sugar: 0.31 g/100ml


Winemaker's Comments

An opaque blackness fills the glass and is surrounded by a ring of youthful magenta. The 2007 J. Lohr Tower Road Petite Sirah has dark, brooding aromas of blackberry pie and black currant with a bouquet of dark chocolate, hazelnut and cedar. The flavors are reminiscent of the aromas, with dark chocolate taking the fore, a plush mid-palate, velvety mouthfeel and a long, savory finish. Tower Road Petite Sirah, given its size and structure, would pair well with roasted venison, elk or beef with a lingonberry reduction sauce.

Steve Peck, red winemaker

 

Price: $35.00 750ml

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2007 J. Lohr October Night Chardonnay

VINTAGE

2007 was the coolest vintage of the last five years and included unseasonably cold and windy temperatures during fruit set, causing a phenomenon that the French call “millenderage” or “hens and chicks.” The result is a cluster with normal size berries - “hens” - interspersed with tiny unfertilized (seedless) berries - “chicks.” Although the Chardonnay clusters were very small and light-weight, the flavor intensity seemed to be enhanced in the diminished size. This intensified fruit character and retention of the grape’s natural acidity allowed us to delay harvest until we reached a very ripe 25.7° Brix, creating a wine of tremendous fruit intensity and lush palate weight.


VINEYARDS

The vineyards for the October Night Chardonnay lie in J. Lohr’s Block 9 plantings in the Arroyo Seco AVA of Monterey County, near the mouth of the Arroyo Seco river, which provides the vines a slightly more wind protected environment in which to grow. Comprised largely of Dijon Clone 809 Chardonnay -known in some circles as the Musqué Clone -these vines produce a very distinctive and attractive, powerful floral character. The soil is laden throughout its loamy profile with “Greenfield potatoes,” stones that resemble potatoes in size and appearance and which absorb heat during the day and radiate their heat after sunset, enhancing floral character and richness.


TECHNICAL DATA

 

Origin: October Night Vineyard, Arroyo Seco AVA, Monterey County
Composition: 100% Chardonnay
Harvest Dates: September 27th and October 14th, 2007
Process: Night harvested, vineyard pressed (to 0.8 bars) and settled.
Harvest Chemistries: 25.7° Brix avg, pH 3.46, total acidity 0.8 g/100ml
Vinification: Yeast: M2 and Montrachet

Fermentation: In barrel for an average of 13 days

Malo-Lactic: Inoculated each barrel with MCW strain of malolactic bacteria on Oct 22, 2007. Completed malolactic fermentation on Dec 6, 2007.

Stirring: Weekly stirring of each barrel starting Oct 22, 2007 until Jan 2008 (during malolactic fermentation and one month post)

Post-Stirring: Monthly topping up of barrels and free sulfur dioxide and oxygen monitoring

Maturation: Aged in barrel sur lie for 11 months in 28% new oak


Winemaker's Comments

A youthful straw yellow color, with Muscat and floral aromas, pear, lemon curd and vanilla. The winemaking techniques to enhance the spicy and exotic nature of this Chardonnay included barrel fermentation in largely one-year-old French oak barrels in the coldest corner of our barrel room, followed by malolactic fermentation with lees stirring, all contributing to a wonderfully complex bouquet that is echoed on the palate with textural richness.

 

Price: $25.00 750ml

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