2010 J. Lohr Cuvée PAU

The inspiration for this blend comes from the Grand Cru wines of the Pauillac district of Bordeaux composed primarily from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, with Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot accents. Winemaking is given 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.

2010 was the coolest vintage Paso Robles has seen since 1998. Following heavy winter rainfall that broke a three year drought, we saw our summertime growing degree days lagging and had concerns that Cabernet may not completely ripen. The low-yielding block selected for Cuvée PAU was one of the earlier blocks harvested for the season and was “in the barn” well before frost and moisture hit the region near the end of October. The layering of this 2010 Cuvée PAU blend was based on building aromas with Merlot and Malbec around the Cabernet Sauvignon base. The Petit Verdot provided structure and aging potential as well as an interesting blue fruit character.


Origin: Paso Robles AVA, San Luis Obispo County, CA
Composition: Cabernet Sauvignon 55%, Merlot 25%, Malbec 10%, Petit Verdot 10%
Harvest Dates: October 22nd, 2010 for the Cabernet Sauvignon
Harvest process: Hand-harvested to half-ton bins, destemmed and berry sorted using Vaucher Beguet Mistral system
Harvest Chemistries: 25.3° Brix average, total acidity 0.45g/100ml, pH 3.68
Vinification: Yeast: ICV D254 began fermentation after a 2-day lag period
  Fermentation: Fermented in 25-ton closed- top tank
  Temperature:  A peak fermentation temperature of 92°F was achieved
  Maceration: Pressed at maximum color density on October 30th
  Malolactic: 100% malolactic fermentation with Viniflora Oenos
  Maturation: 20 months in oak barrels
  Barrel Type: Bordeaux Export, 60% new
  Forests: Center of France
  Coopers: Saury and Dargaud et Jaegle (water bent)
  Bottle Aging: Bottled June 2012
Bottling Numbers: pH: 3.55
Total Acidity: 0.65 g/100ml
  Alcohol: 14.15% by volume
  Res. Sugar: 0 g/L, dry
  Cases Produced: 400 six-pack cases

The 2010 J. Lohr Cuvée PAU blends red and blue fruit aromas with a hazelnut-like barrel bouquet that evolves toward ink and iodine in the glass. The bright palate is dense with fruit, offering notes of violet, browned butter and black tea. Red fruit in the finish speaks to the Merlot and Malbec in this Bordeaux-style blend. Open and decant an hour before serving.
-Steve Peck, Red Winemaker

Grilled rosemary lamb chops with garlic mashed potato and roasted beets.

Cabernet Sauvignon blend with notes of violet, browned butter and black tea.

Price: $50.00 750ml
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Wine Fact Sheet: 

2012 Painter Bridge Zinfandel

Painter Bridge wines are available for International sales only.  For more information please contact us at


The 2012 Painter Bridge Zinfandel was designed with an eye towards artful composition. The fruit comes from four Paso Robles Zinfandel blocks and has been blended with spicy Valdiguié and Syrah, which bring aromatic complexity, body and palate structure. Each lot of Zinfandel was fermented separately, extracting the nuances of the individual vineyard blocks and drawing out a supple texture. Painter Bridge Zinfandel is awash with the gorgeous red fruit characters of the Zinfandel grape, and has been stylized to accent the delicate fruit without overpowering it with too much oak.


Origin:  California
Composition: 87% Zinfandel, 7% Valdiguié,
5% Syrah, 1% Cabernet Sauvignon
Bottling Chemistries:
  pH: 3.54
  Total Acidity: 0.67 g/100ml
  Alcohol: 13.5% alcohol by volume
  Res. Sugar: 0.3 g/100ml

This 2012 Painter Bridge Zinfandel shows bright color with a youthful red hue. The aromas are of brambly loganberry fruit, raspberry confection, black tea and dark chocolate. On the palate this wine delivers crisp, red fruit with good volume and roundness, along with that unique savory pepper quality that zinfandel is known for.
-Steve Peck, Red Winemaker

Pairs well with pasta puttanesca, pizza or grilled meats.

Enjoy in its youth, or lay down for up to 3 years.

2012 J. Lohr Arroyo Vista Chardonnay

2012 continued the trend of cool years since 2010, and began with even colder winter and earlier spring temperatures than 2011. Fortunately, unlike 2010 and 2011, the Arroyo Seco was blessed with favorable weather from bloom to fruit-set, and dry weather from April through October. The cool, dry weather allowed for full flavor development in our Dijon clone 76 Chardonnay, and a short heat wave from September 30th through October 2nd gave the vines their final push to the finish line.

Our J. Lohr Arroyo Vista Chardonnay is grown in the heart of the windswept and cool Arroyo Seco AVA of Monterey County. Loamy sand and gravelly loam soils of the Elder series are intermixed and underlain by “Greenfield potatoes” - stones that resemble potatoes in size and appearance and which absorb heat during the day and radiate it after sunset. This underlayment of stone effectively limits root growth to the top three to five feet of soil, harmoniously balancing the fruit and shoot growth of our richly flavored Chardonnay.


Appellation:  Arroyo Seco AVA, Monterey County, CA
Composition: 100% Chardonnay
Harvest Dates: October 9th through October 22nd, 2012
Harvest Process: Hand-harvested at night, with whole cluster press (to 0.8 bars) and settled
Harvest Chemistries:

Brix: 25.7°
pH: 3.47
total acidity: 0.69 g/100 ml

Yeast: CY3079 and VL1
Fermentation: In barrel for an average of 17 days
Malolactic: Inoculated each barrel in October 2012 with the Christian Hansen Vinaflora Oenos strain of malolactic bacteria. Completed malolactic fermentation in November and December of 2012.
Stirring: Weekly stirring of each barrel, starting November 2012 until June 2013 (during malolactic fermentation and seven months post)
Post-stirring: Monthly topping up of barrels, and free sulfur dioxide and oxygen monitoring
Maturation: Aged in barrel sur lie for 14 months in 50% new oak barrels.
Barrel Type: French oak
Forests: Emphasis is on tight-grain structure from the center of France
Coopers: Francois Frères, Tonnellerie O., Marcel Cadet, Dargaud et Jaegle
Bottling Chemistries:
pH : 3.56
Total Acidity: 0.66 g/100 ml
Alcohol: 14.32% by volume
Residual Sugar: 0.28 g/100 ml
Cases Produced: 17,649 six-pack cases
Cellaring:  Delicious now, but can be cellared for up to 5 years

With bright, straw-yellow color and vibrant hues, the 2012 J. Lohr Arroyo Vista Chardonnay has aromas of Cornish apple, stone fruit and lemon, with cinnamon and allspice undertones. The Burgundian winemaking techniques, including alcoholic and malolactic fermentation in barrel with lees stirring and extended aging, contribute a complex bouquet of toasted brioche, crème brulée, and roasted hazelnuts. This plush and racy Chardonnay with complex aromas and flavors is balanced by palate-cleansing acidity.
Karl Antink, Winemaker

Pork loin with apple cider and calvados (apple brandy), grilled seafood, triple cream cheeses and aged cheddar.

Cornish apple, stone fruit and citrus aromas with spice notes. Plush and silky, Burgundian in style.

Price: $25.00 750ml

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2013 J. Lohr Estates Wildflower Valdiguié

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 cordon. Otherwise, yields are too high and ripening becomes difficult for this late-maturing variety. In our winemaking, the goal is to preserve the varietal’s wonderful natural acidity and fresh fruit character. We incorporate two different fermentation techniques to achieve this. In 2013, we hand-picked roughly a quarter 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 whole clusters is performed. The other techniques include gently de-stemming the fruit going to the fermenter, pumping over and extracting 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.

Our Valdiguié is 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.


Origin: Monterey AVA, Monterey County, CA
Composition: 100% Valdiguié
Harvest Date: October 28th, 29th & 30th, 2013
Brix at Harvest: 20.6° Brix average
Vinification: Fermentation: Stainless steel, 79% traditional red wine fermentation to 85°F and 11% carbonic maceration (whole cluster fermented)
  Maceration: Traditional fermentation portion was just 4 days on skins while the carbonic maceration was 14 days to pressing
  Maturation: Aged 4 months in stainless steel tanks
Bottling Chemistries: pH: 3.33
  Total Acidity: 0.60 g/100ml
  Alcohol: 11.5% by volume
  Residual Sugar: 0.65 g/100ml
  Cellaring: Best enjoyed within four years

The vibrant 2013 J. Lohr Estates Wildflower Valdiguié is red-purple in color with profuse fresh fruit aromas of cherry, raspberry and red currant. The complexion on the palate is equally bright, dominated by pomegranate and raspberry, with a light peppery finish. Drink your last bottle just in time for the release of the new vintage! Serve chilled.
-Steve Peck, Winemaker

Perfect with duck confit salad or as a complement to a charcuterie plate of Serrano ham, peppered salami, cornichon and hard cheese.

Fresh fruit aromas of cherry and red currants with a sweet, peppery finish. Served chilled.

Price: $10.00 750ml

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2011 J. Lohr Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon

A cool climate prevailed in 2011, much like the 2010 season, which had been the coolest in a decade. Low yielding secondary shoots grew to replace frost damaged primary shoots after a defining hard frost hit the Paso Robles area on April 8th, 2011. Winter rainfall had provided sufficient soil moisture for rapid springtime growth of the vines after the setback of the early frost. We saw fewer clusters with larger berries, which pushed the wines toward a softer tannin profile. Vineyard yields were down considerably, averaging just 2.5 tons per acre in most blocks. Our standard practice was to stop irrigation of the Cabernet vines just after fruitset in early June and wait eight weeks or more until the soil ran out of moisture in early August. This prompted seeds to harden and brown early, and perhaps more importantly, shifted flavor in the berries from herbal to fruity in this distinctly cool 2011 vintage. This edition of J. Lohr Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon delivers on its promise to be dense and soft with a great fruit signature.

Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon is grown on a handful of select vineyard sites in the Paso Robles AVA. Blessed with long summer days of intense sunshine, our near 100°F daytime temperatures are followed with chilly, ocean-cooled nights in the 50s. These Cabernet vines are naturally stressed in the dry, often very gravelly, and sometimes lime shale-laden soils. Water is at a premium in these vineyards, enabling the viticulturist to fine-tune irrigation, producing the darkest fruit with resolved tannins year after year.


Appellation: Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo County, CA
Composition 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot, 4% Malbec, 1% Syrah
Harvest Dates: October 27 to November 5, 2011
Process: Select-picked and sorted
Harvest Chemistries: Brix 24.8°, total acidity 0.54 g/100ml, pH 3.60
Vinification: Yeast: Lalvin ICV-D254 yeast was isolated by Dominique Delteil of the ICV from a Rhône Valley Syrah fermentation and is known for developing ripe fruit flavors and a big mid-palate mouthfeel with intense fruit concentration
Fermentation:  Primary fermentation in open-top and conventional stainless steel tanks
Temperature: Peak fermentation at 92°F
Maceration: 7 days on skins
Malolactic: Malolatic complete with Viniflora Oenos
Maturation: 18 months in 225 liter French oak barrels, 60% new
Barrel Type: French oak, thick stave, very tight grain
Coopers: Demptos, Sylvain, Remond, DJ
Post-Maturation: Release date January 2014
Bottling Numbers: pH: 3.55
Total Acidity: 0.68 g/100ml
Alcohol: 14.20 % by vol
Residual Sugar: 0.001 g/100ml (dry)
Cases Produced: 17,500 cases (35,000 six packs)
Cellaring: Rich intense fruit upon release, with structure to age comfortably for 5 to 7 years

The 2011 J. Lohr Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon is darkly-colored with a red-purple hue. Varietal aromas of violet and ripe black plum are complemented by hazelnut, dark chocolate and espresso coffee. The dense but approachable mid-palate is followed by a round, intense fruit finish.
-Steve Peck, Red Winemaker

Delicious with rosemary-seasoned ribeye, roasted potatoes and asparagus.

Aromas of violet, ripe black plum and hazelnut. Round, intense fruit finish.

Price: $35.00 750ml

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2011 J. Lohr Highlands Bench Pinot Noir

2011 was second only to 2010 as the coolest vintage in a decade for the Santa Lucia Highlands. The young vines that produced our second vintage of Highlands Bench Pinot Noir were shoot-thinned and leafed early in the season, with crop levels of just 1 ton per acre. The cool summer period was complemented by a warm trend at the end of September, which caused elevated sugar levels. We were pleased that the final picking decision was made during a moderate period on the 17th and 18th of October, resulting in a deliciously ripe wine with the complex flavors appreciated by true pinotphiles like ourselves.

Our 2011 Highlands Bench Pinot Noir comes from the Escolle Road Vineyard, just west of the town of Gonzales in the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA of Monterey. We were invited to partner with a group of friends - Gary Caraccioli, the Nunes and Hiyashi families - in 2006 to establish a Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vineyard on the Rianda family property. We participated in soil evaluation, vineyard layout and clone and rootstock selection, ultimately choosing the highest elevations and most gravelly soils for Pinot Noir planting. The Pinot Noir clones selected were Dijon origin 777, 115 and 828, as well as Pommard 4 and Joseph Swan. The vines are spaced at four feet within the row and eight feet between rows in a north-south orientation. The close proximity to Monterey Bay, the eastern slope and aspect, and the elevation above the Salinas Valley floor provide a cool, sunny and ideal environment for growing intensely-flavored Burgundian varietals.


Appellation: Santa Lucia Highlands,
Monterey County
Composition 100% Pinot Noir
Harvest Dates: October 17th and 18th, 2011
Process: Hand-picked into half-ton
bins. Destemmed and berry sorted on Mistral System
Harvest Chemistries: 25.2° Brix, pH 3.3,
0.89g/100ml total acidity
Vinification: Yeast: Maurivin Distinction and RC-212
Fermentation: Cold-soaked, then fermented in 10-ton open-top tanks with punch downs twice daily
Malolactic: 100% malolactic with Vinifloral Oenos in barrel
Stirring: Barrels stirred every 2 weeks through malolactic completion in February
Post-Stirring: Monthly barrel topping till
Maturation: Aged in barrel for 9 months
Barrel Type: 228-liter Burgundy barrels, 55% new
Forest: Bertrange
Coopers: Sirugue, Francois Frères, Dargaud & Jaegle, Marcel Cadet
Post-Maturation: 1 year bottle age prior to
Bottling Chemistries: pH: 3.77
Total Acidity: 0.61 g/100ml
Alcohol: 14.21 % by vol
Residual Sugar: 0.1 g/100 ml
Cases Produced: 2,012 cases (4,024 six-packs)
Cellaring: This wine has the structure to age 6 to 8 years or beyond

The 2011 Highlands Bench Pinot Noir is deep fuchsia-red in color, with complex layers of raspberry jam, prickly pear, beeswax and hazelnut aromas. This vintage shows finely-textured tannins with supple fruit on the palate.
-Steve Peck, Red Winemaker

Delicious with beef carpaccio with pecorino, Thresher shark on a bed of arugula and spring peas, or French onion soup.

Complex aromas of raspberry jam, prickly pear and beeswax with supple fruit on the palate.

Price: $35.00 750ml

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2012 J. Lohr Estates Falcon’s Perch Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir in Monterey County saw a wonderfully cool growing season that finished with a bang. Growing degree days were similar to 2007; well below the long-term average and just a touch warmer than the preceding cooler vintages of 2010 and 2011. We gladly avoided a frost scare that came just a week after bud break in early March. Our favorable weather through bloom at the end of May set our average crop size at just under 4 tons per acre for the Falcon’s Perch. Moderate daytime temperatures during veraison, between 75 and 85 degrees, bring out the best color development. This is exactly what occurred in the Monterey region in August of 2012. The textbook weather continued until Mother Nature decided it was time for us to pick and brought two days of over 100 degrees on October 1st and 2nd, breaking a 100 year temperature record. Harvest immediately went into full swing on our coveted crop and the 2012 Falcon’s Perch Pinot Noir is now showing rich, full structure with great aromatic development at bottling.

Falcon’s Perch Pinot Noir is produced from cool climate grapes grown in select vineyards within and surrounding the Arroyo Seco region of central Monterey County. This region has earned a well-deserved reputation for producing world-class Pinot Noir. Over the past decade, the introduction of Dijon clones of Pinot, along with the old standby Pommard clone, has dramatically increased the quality of the varietal here. These newer clones are the backbone of this release of Falcon’s Perch, named for the bird which had made its home in the lone pine tree among the vines, safeguarding the grapes from vertabrate pests while preserving the ecosystem’s natural balance.


Origin: Monterey County, CA
Composition: 100% Pinot Noir
Harvest Date: October 2 through 20, 2012
Cold Soak: 3 day cold soak prior to fermentation
Brix at Harvest: 26.5° Brix
Vinification: Fermentation: Fermented as 12-ton lots in open-top punchdown tanks, 5 to 10 days with light pumpovers and daily punchdowns. Temperatures peaking at 95°F rendered a high, complex color in the wine.
  Malolactic: 100% ML, Viniflora Oenos
  Maturation: Matured in stainless steel with a fraction aged in French oak barrels
  Barrel Type: 15% in second fill French oak barrels
Bottling Chemistries: PH: 3.76
  Total Acidity: 0.70 g/100 ml
  Alcohol: 13.66 % by volume
  Residual Sugar: 0.3 g/100 ml
Cellaring: Tannin stucture will soften in the first year along with the evolution of an aromatic bottle bouquet. Best between 2014 and 2016.

The 2012 Falcon’s Perch Pinot Noir offers complex varietal aromas of cherry preserves, violets and dried herbs lifted by vanilla spice. Brushy red fruit on the palate finishes with talc and a touch of rhubarb pie. The fresh acidity invites a wide range of food pairings.
-Steve Peck, Red Winemaker

Delicious with classic Southern shrimp gumbo, smoked salmon on savory crackers, or a ripened goat cheese coated with ash.

Varietal aromas of cherry preserves, dried herbs and violets lifted by vanilla spice.

Price: $17.00 750ml


2011 J. Lohr Late Harvest White Riesling - Sold Out

The 2011 vintage was one of the coldest since the El Niño and La Niña years of 1998 and 1999. Although the cumulative 2200 growing degree days are slightly higher than those of 2010, the vintage proved dramatically cooler given the very cold, late winter and delayed bud break. In fact, parts of the Arroyo Seco had their first vine-damaging spring frost ever! 2011 was an ideal vintage for our Late Harvest Riesling with cool, moist air ensuring the development of Botrytis, the Noble Rot. Our well-trained vineyard workers selected each cluster by hand, keeping only the perfect Botrytis-affected berries and removing the rest. This is a wine that was truly made in the vineyard.

Our Riesling vineyards lie just north of Cypress Avenue in the heart of our original Greenfield vineyard plantings in the Arroyo Seco AVA. A portion of the vines still in this vineyard were our first White Riesling vines, planted in 1972 by Jerry Lohr. The remainder were planted in 1995. The soils are largely Chualar loam, underlain by stones deposited by the Arroyo Seco River for over a millennium. The winds of the Salinas Valley are particularly intense in this area due to its position at the beginning of an elevated plateau just to the north.


Origin:  Arroyo Seco AVA, Monterey County, CA
Composition: 100% White Riesling
Harvest Date: October 25, 2011
Process: Hand-harvested in early morning, destemmed and crushed into press for 18 hours of skin contact.
Harvest Chemistries: 33.3° Brix, total acidity 0.75 g/100ml, pH 3.02
Vinification: Yeast: Maurivin Unity
Fermentation: In stainless steel and neutral oak barrels for 41 days
Temperature: 58°F
In stainless steel and neutral oak barrels
pH at Bottling: 3.14
Total Acidity: 0.77 g/100ml
Alcohol: 10.55% by volume
Residual Sugar: 13.7 g/100 ml
Cases Produced: 242 cases (in 375ml bottles)
Cellaring: Delicious now, but can be cellared for 10 to 15 years

This wine is the result of our meticulous selection of only the best Botrytis-affected berries. Its deep golden hues, firm acidity and layers of apricot, citrus oil and honeysuckle are reminiscent of the great Trockenbeerenauslese wines of Germany. The natural sweetness is balanced by both the acidity and palate structure.
-Jeff Meier, Winemaker

Pair with nuts and strong cheeses or crème brûlée, apricot tart or vanilla gelato.



2012 J. Lohr Gesture Grenache Rosé

The ideal season for growing Grenache Rosé might offer a wet winter to feed the roots, cool spring temperatures to nurture flowers and lots of warm 90 degree summer days with cool nights to ripen the fruit while preserving acidity. The real world never works quite that way, but we can always dream. The 2012 season followed a dry winter in Paso Robles, leaving vines on the smaller size. Our springtime temperatures regularly topped 90 degrees, causing the bloom to “shatter”, leaving loose clusters to ripen through the summer. One thing we can always count on are the cool 50 degree nights throughout the summer in Paso Robles, which always keep this wine fresh and bright with acidity. A winemaker’s appetite for this pink “liquid delicacy” never dissipates as we chase the endless summer.

30% of the fruit is from one of our newest vineyards, located about 5 miles north of our Paso Robles winery. This vineyard has helped us strengthen our Rhône program and this enticing Grenache Rosé. The site is located near the northern boundary of the Paso Robles appellation and supports both our sustainably-farmed vineyard and an active wildlife corridor. The remaining 70% of the Grenache came from two vineyards in the Willow Creek district of Paso Robles, an area known for world class Grenache, while a splash of Counoise contributes a peppery note.


Origin: Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo County, California
Composition: 99% Grenache, 1% Counoise
 Harvest Dates: October 5th and 20th, 2012
Harvest Process: Hand-harvested and whole cluster pressed
Harvest Chemistries: Brix 22.0° avg, pH 3.30, total acidity 0.66 g/100ml
  Yeast: Sequential inoculations of Frootzen and Enoferm QA23
  Fermentation: Stainless steel tank
  Temperature: Fermentation at 52 to 59°F
  Maceration: Minimal maceration from use of “Champagne” style press cycle
  Malolactic: None
  Bottle Aging: Bottled March 20th, 2013
Bottling Chemistries:
  pH: 3.30
  Total Acidity: 0.52 g/100ml
  Alcohol: 12.68% by volume
  Res. Sugar: 0.12 g/100ml
  Cellaring: Floral and fruit character are most brilliant in the first year.
  Cases Produced: 793

“Aromas of mandarin orange, asian pear and red clover appeal to the nose. The light palate expresses fresh fruit and lean acidity, with a touch of pepper on the finish. A perfect pairing with healthy summer cuisine.”
-Steve Peck, Red Winemaker

A wonderful companion for shellfish, sushi or a whole grain summer salad.


Price: $18.00 750ml

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2011 J. Lohr Highlands Bench Chardonnay

2011 will go down as one of the coolest and longest growing seasons in the Santa Lucia Highlands’ relatively brief history. Unseasonably frosty weather in early April kept the vines in a slow growth mode for the first two months of the growing season. Summer was cool, with no Indian Summer occurring in the early fall, allowing the vines to coast into ripeness with full maturation of flavors and retention of vibrant natural grape acidity. Bright, tropical and rich all describe the 2011 Highlands Bench Chardonnay.

2011 J. Lohr Highlands Bench Chardonnay comes from the Escolle Road Vineyard, just west of the town of Gonzales and the Costa Vineyard, just west of the town of Soledad in the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA of Monterey. We were invited to partner with a group of friends - Gary Caraccioli, the Nunes and Hiyashi families - in 2006, to establish a Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vineyard on Rianda family property (Escolle Road) and the Costa family property. We participated in soil evaluation, vineyard layout and clone and rootstock selection, ultimately choosing the sandiest soils for Chardonnay planting. The clones selected were a Wente clone from Larry Hyde’s vineyard in Carneros, a Robert Young selection from Sonoma County, and two Dijon selections - clones 95 and 76. All are shy-bearing, but very flavorful. The close proximity to Monterey Bay, the eastern slope and aspect, and the elevation above the Salinas Valley floor provide a cool, sunny, ideal environment for growing intensely flavored Burgundian varietals.


Appellation: Santa Lucia Highlands AVA, Monterey County, CA
Composition 100% Chardonnay
Harvest Dates: October 4-6, 2011
Harvest Process: Hand-harvested at night, vineyard-pressed to 0.8 bars and settled
Harvest Chemistries: 25.5° Brix, pH 3.33,
0.73 g/100ml total acidity
Vinification: Yeast: Native fermentation, CY3079, VL2
Fermentation:  In barrel for an average of 17 days
Malolactic: Inoculated each barrel with Christian Hansen Vinaflora Oenos and Lactoenos SB3 strains of malolactic bacteria in October 2011. Completed malolactic fermentation in November 2011.
Stirring: Weekly stirring of each barrel, starting November 2011 until June 2012 (during malolactic fermentation and seven months post)
Post-Stirring: Monthly topping up of barrels with free sulfur dioxide and oxygen monitoring
Maturation: Aged in barrel sur lie for 18 months in 52% new oak
Barrel Type: French oak, very tight grain
Forest: Mixed
Coopers: Mostly Francois Frères and Marcel Cadet
Bottling Chemistries: pH: 3.57
Total Acidity: 0.62 g/100ml
Alcohol: 14.10 % by volume
Residual Sugar: 0.40 g/100ml
  Cases Produced: 1,490 (2,981 6-packs)
  Cellaring: 2 to 4 years from vintage date

Youthful and bright yellow in color, with aromas of tropical fruits, guava, pineapple and passion fruit, which are enhanced by a bouquet of toasted vanilla, hazelnut and butterscotch from French oak barrel fermentation. The 2011 Highlands Bench Chardonnay is fruit intensive, and rich, yet balanced by Santa Lucia Highlands bright acidic structure, making it a perfect match for grilled seafood or fowl, or as a aperitif with triple crème brie cheese.
Jeff Meier, Winemaker

Grilled or broiled monkfish, halibut or seabass with olive oil and lavender salt, cornish game hens or triple crème brie.

Price: $25.00 750ml

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