The 2009 growing season in Paso Robles was warmer and drier than average, followed by a heavy rainfall event on October 13th that attenuated ripening of late-maturing varietals. This vintage followed the third consecutive year of below-normal winter rainfall in the Paso Robles AVA, with just under 7 inches recorded at our home ranch weather station. For us, Mourvèdre ripened one week earlier than Grenache in 2009. The Grenache lingered at 29° Brix for over 2 weeks, with the final picking predicated by a slight drop in acidity just at the onset of senescence.
The source of Grenache and Mourvèdre in this blend is from a vineyard once known as Gravity Hills. 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 lime-shale hillside. The 23% slope in these blocks makes even just walking the vineyard very difficult. Our farming plan brings the crop to one cluster per shoot, and in order to intensify flavor, these large-clustered varieties require trimming off the wings and the lower third of the clusters shortly after set. The Syrah component for this blend came from block 4 of the Terra Bella Vineyard, located within the warmer Adelaida district of the western Paso Robles AVA at an elevation of 1,800 feet..
||Paso Robles AVA, San Luis Obispo County
||58% Grenache, 10% Mourvèdre,
| Harvest Dates:
||Grenache picked October 27th, 2009
||Sunburned fruit dropped just prior to hand-harvesting to half ton bins; fruit destemmed onto dry ice before fermentation
||29.9° Brix, 0.7 TA, 3.36 pH
||Fermented in 5 and 10 ton open-top fermentors, with light punch downs daily
|| Moderate 88°F fermentation temperature
||9 days on skins prior to pressing
||100% malolactic, native strain
||14 months in puncheons
||500 liter French oak puncheons, 50% new
||Bottled in March 2011
||15.35% by volume
||Delicious now, but can be cellared for up to 5 years.
“J. Lohr Gesture GSM presents medium color with a bright hue. The red fruit character of the Grenache is spiced with a large portion of Syrah and a small amount Mourvèdre for structure. The bouquet of anise and lilac resonate from the lovely French oak puncheons used for aging. Long-lasting plummy flavors are refreshing, whetting the appetite for healthy cuisine.”
—Steve Peck, red winemaker
Pairs well with grilled meat or fish seasoned with traditional Herbes de Provence, vegetable
stew or margherita pizza.
Price: $30.00 750ml