J. Lohr Estates

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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