J. Lohr Estates

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.



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



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.


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.



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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