J. Lohr Hilltop Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

2011 J. Lohr Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon

VINTAGE
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.


VINEYARDS
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.


TECHNICAL DATA

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

WINEMAKER'S COMMENTS
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

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

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

Price: $35.00 750ml

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Cabernet Braised Short Rib

recipe courtesy of Chef Bruce Finch, A Party For Your Palate

  • 8 lbs English short ribs, cut in half by butcher
  • 1 1/2 white onion, sliced
  • 4 carrots cut into 1” pieces
  • 4 stalks celery, cut into 1” pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 1 bottle cabernet sauvignon, divided
  • 1 qt beef stock
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire
  • Seasoned salt
  • Canola Oil

Pre heat oven to 300 degrees

Turn short ribs bone side down on a flat surface. Rub in Worcestershire sauce to meat. Sprinkle seasoned salt over meat.

Using a large pan, pour in enough canola oil to coat the pan. Heat oil until it’s shimmering. Add short ribs to hot oil and sear the three meat sides (about 3 minutes per turn). Working in batches, continue to sear short ribs and when done, place in a roasting pan, bone side up, in a single layer. Do not stack or layer ribs. Add bay leaves to the roasting rack.

When all ribs are seared, if necessary, add oil to the pan. Add in onions, carrots, garlic and celery and cook until onions soften. Deglaze pan with half of the red wine, stirring to pick up any brown bits. Add in tomato paste and stir to create a thick sauce. Add in beef stock and bring to a simmer.

Pour mixture over ribs and stir the vegetables around the beef so that they are not just sitting on top. Liquid should only come to halfway up rib meat. Cover and place in oven for 3 hours.

Remove from oven and remove short ribs from liquid. Reserve braising mixture and cool. Remove short ribs from the bone, discard the bone, and using a sharp knife, carefully remove cartilage that connects the meat to the bone. Reserve meat. (can be made a day ahead) When braising mixture is cool, put in refrigeration and refrigerate until fats floats to the top. Skim and discard fat. In a food processor or using an immersion blender, mix braising liquids. Bring mixture to a simmer and reduce by half. Add in the other half of the bottle of wine and reduce by 1/4. Sauce should be thick and rich. Season to taste.

Add short ribs to a pan, pour braising liquids over short ribs and place in 300 degree oven for 2 hours.

Serve hot with sauce poured over ribs. Accompany with our Hilltop Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon for a delicious pairing!

2010 J. Lohr Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon

VINTAGE
2010 was the coolest vintage Paso Robles has seen in a decade. With winter rainfall nearly 50% above normal, and growing degree days lagging, we had concerns this vintage may not completely ripen. This cool seasonal trend provided an ideal challenge for our progressive approach to vineyard irrigation that imposes ceasing irrigation in mid-June, just after fruitset. We monitored vine water status weekly in each block to precisely determine when soil profiles had dried out, and vines were in need of watering. Initially, we expected that a 3 to 5 week “dry-down” would be possible, but in 2010, most of our resourceful vines did not reach significant water stress until a full 2 months had passed without irrigation. This dramatic approach in our vineyards induced the vines to stop vegetative growth early in the season, and drove rapid seed maturity and tannin maturation in this cool vintage. This allowed Hilltop Cabernet to continue to live up to its reputation for being dense, soft and never green.


VINEYARDS
Our Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon is grown on a handful of select vineyard sites in the Paso Robles AVA. Blessed with long days of intense sunshine, near 100°F temperatures, and chilly, ocean-cooled nights where fifty-degree temperature swings are not uncommon, our Cabernet vines struggle to survive in the parched, 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.


TECHNICAL DATA

Appellation: Paso Robles AVA,
San Luis Obispo County County, CA
Composition 99% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Syrah
Harvest Dates: October 27 to 30, 2010
Process: Select picked and sorted
Harvest Chemistries: 25.3° Brix, 3.56 pH, total acidity 0.42 g/100ml
Vinification: Yeast: Lalvin ICV-D80 yeast was isolated by Dominique Delteil of the ICV in 1992 from the Côte Rôtie area of the Rhône Valley for its ability to ferment musts high in sugar and polyphenols.
Fermentation:  Primary fermentation in open-top and conventional stainless steel tanks
Temperature: Peak fermentation at 92°F
Maceration: 6 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
Forest: French, very tight grain
Coopers: Sylvain, Demptos, Bel Air, Remond
Post-Maturation: 8 months bottle age prior to
release
Bottling Numbers: pH: 3.64
Total Acidity: 0.64 g/100ml
Alcohol: 14.56 % by vol
Residual Sugar: Dry
Cases Produced: 10,750 cases (21,500 six packs)
Cellaring: Soft upon release, with structure to age comfortably for 6 to 8 years

WINEMAKER'S COMMENTS
The 2010 J. Lohr Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon is darkly-colored with a red-purple hue. Ripe aromas of blueberry and black plum are complemented by a bouquet of hazelnut, dark chocolate and espresso coffee. Dense and voluminous in structure, this vintage finishes soft, leaving dark fruit on the palate.
-Steve Peck, Red Winemaker

FOOD PAIRINGS
Wonderful with roasted rosemary pork chops or an herbed beef filet.

WINE LIST DESCRIPTION
Ripe aromas of blueberry and black plum meld with a bouquet of
chocolate and hazelnut.

Price: $35.00 750ml

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Wine Fact Sheet: 
Label: 

2009 J. Lohr Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon

VINTAGE
The 2009 winegrowing season in Paso Robles is best characterized as being warmer and dryer than average. Cabernet Sauvignon does well in dry years and 2009 was no exception. Winter rainfall was well below normal for the third year in a row, recording just half of the 12 inch annual average at our Home Ranch weather station. Cold temperatures in April limited vine growth in the first month after budbreak, but was followed by a warmer May with a one day spike reaching 104°F just after bloom. The added heat units helped to establish the leaf canopy necessary to ripen this Hilltop Cabernet just in time, as an unlikely rain event on October 13th delivered between 2.5 and 11 inches of rain to the region in a single day. This 2009 Hilltop shows significant tannin structure, and the regional expression of black currant, black cherry and chocolate are evident.


VINEYARDS
Our Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon is grown on a handful of select vineyard sites in the Paso Robles AVA. Blessed with long days of intense sunshine, near 100°F temperatures, and chilly, ocean-cooled nights where fifty-degree temperature swings are not uncommon, our Cabernet vines struggle to survive in the parched, 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.


TECHNICAL DATA

Appellation: Paso Robles AVA,
San Luis Obispo County
Composition 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Petite Sirah, 3% Syrah, 2% Petit Verdot, 1% Cab Franc
Harvest Dates: September 25th to October 7th, 2009
Process: Pellenc Select Pick and Broad machine harvest
Harvest Chemistries: 27° Brix, 3.7 pH, total acidity 0.52 g/100ml
Vinification: Yeast: Fermicru VR5 and Lallemand 43
Fermentation:  Primary fermentation in
stainless steel tanks
Temperature: Peak fermentation at 92°F
Maceration: 6 to 10 days
Malo-Lactic: Malolatic complete with Viniflora Oenos
Maturation: 18 months in 225 liter French oak barrels
Barrel Type: French oak, thin stave "Chateau Ferré"
Forest: Center of France, Allier
Coopers: Demptos, Marcel Cadet, Sylvain
Post-Maturation: 10 months bottle age prior to
release
Bottling Numbers: pH: 3.73
Total Acidity: 0.68 g/100ml
Alcohol: 14.67 % by vol
Residual Sugar: Dry
Cases Produced: 8,300
Cellaring: Delicious upon release, but has the structure to age for up to 10 to 12 years.

WINEMAKER'S COMMENTS
The 2009 J. Lohr Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon is darkly-colored with a red-purple hue. Ripe fruit aromas of black plum and raspberry meld with a bouquet of chocolate and hazelnut from 18 months maturation in French oak barrels. The rich tannin structure of this wine activates the palate and welcomes enjoyment with rich cuisine.
-Steve Peck, Red Winemaker

FOOD PAIRINGS
Wonderful with grilled lamb or herbed beef filet.

WINE LIST DESCRIPTION
Ripe fruit aromas of black plum and raspberry meld with a bouquet of chocolate and hazelnut.

Label: 

2008 J. Lohr Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon

VINTAGE
The 2008 growing season presented significant challenges on our ranch, as well as to vineyards across California. Spring and autumn frosts–coupled with heat spikes, which impacted flowering and maturation–claimed much of the prized crop. Vineyard yields for Cabernet were generally at half of normal levels for Paso Robles, averaging under 3 tons per acre. 2008 was the second consecutive vintage of drought in the area, which limited vine growth and reduced cluster and berry size significantly. Fortunately for J. Lohr, the conditions of this rather difficult vintage resulted in a group of high-extract, intensely flavored wines. This vintage, we reached between 26-28° Brix on most lots, a requirement for creating the plump fruit and soft tannin profile that Hilltop Cabernet is known for.


TECHNICAL DATA

Appellation: Paso Robles AVA,
San Luis Obispo County
Composition 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Malbec,
7% Petite Sirah, 7% Petit Verdot, 1% other reds
Harvest Dates: October 11 through 25, 2008
Process: Hand and machine-harvested.
Select lots were berry sorted on Vaucher Beguit Mistral to remove shot berries and sunburned fruit. Crushed to small, stainless steel fermenters.
Harvest Chemistries: 27° Brix, 3.6 pH, total acidity 0.4 g/100ml
Vinification: Yeast: Lallemand 43 and ICV-254
Fermentation:  Primary fermentation in stainless steel tanks
Temperature: Peak fermentation at 92°F
Maceration: 6 to 10 days
Malo-Lactic: Malolatic complete with Viniflora Oenos
Maturation: 18 months in 225 liter French oak barrels
Barrel Type: French oak, thin stave "Chateau Ferré"
Forest: Center of France, Allier
Coopers: Bel Air, Boutes, Vicard, Sylvain,Dargaud et Jaegle
Post-Maturation: 1 year bottle age prior to
release
Bottling Numbers: pH: 3.69
Total Acidity: 0.71 g/100ml
Alcohol: 14.5 % by vol
Residual Sugar: Dry
Cases Produced: 15,654
Cellaring: Delicious upon release, but has the structure to age for up to 10 to 15 years.

WINEMAKER'S COMMENTS
The 2008 Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon is dark-colored with red-purple
hues. Aromas of black plum, violet and pomegranate are wrapped
in a bouquet of hazelnut, coconut and Italian espresso. The large
palate volume of this wine is surprisingly soft and round on the
finish. A high fraction of Malbec brings brightness to this blend,
whose complexity and structure is reminiscent of the finest of
Bordeaux. This wine will age comfortably for 10 to 15 years.
Steve Peck, red winemaker

Label: 

2007 J. Lohr Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon

VINTAGE
2007 was a very dry year in Paso Robles, with the seasonal total for rainfall registering a scant 4.4 inches. Fortunately, temperatures were mild and did not exacerbate the extremely dry conditions. Vine canopies were small, as were cluster and berry size, resulting in some of the lowest yields we have seen in the last ten years. These natural limitations imposed on the vines resulted in remarkably good cabernet sauvignon fruit quality, with outstanding color and flavors. For the second consecutive year, we incurred no significant heat events after veraison and had very mild weather conditions straight through harvest, allowing each block to be picked at optimal flavor development.


TECHNICAL DATA

 

Appellation: Paso Robles AVA,
San Luis Obispo County
Composition 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petite Sirah, 4% Malbec,
4% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc
Harvest Dates: October 13 through 25, 2007
Process: Hand and machine-harvested.
Select lots were berry sorted on Vaucher Beguit Mistral to remove shot berries and sunburned fruit. Crushed to small, stainless steel fermenters.
Harvest Chemistries: Avgs of 26.6° Brix, pH
3.46, total acidity 0.51g/100ml
Vinification: Yeast: Lallemand D-80, Pasteur Red
Fermentation:  Small stainless steel tanks and open-top tanks
Temperature: Peak fermentation at 92°F
Maceration: 6 to 10 days
Malo-Lactic: completed with Viniflora Oenos
Maturation: 18 months in 225 liter French oak barrels
Barrel Type: French oak Chateau Ferré-style barrels
Forest: Center of France, Allier
Coopers: Sylvain, Vicard, Saury and Demptos
Post-Maturation: 11 months bottle age prior to
release
Bottling Chemistries: pH: 3.71
Total Acidity: 0.69 g/100ml
Alcohol: 14.6 % by vol
Residual Sugar: Dry
Cases produced: 15,654
Cellaring: Delicious upon release, but has the structure to age for up to 10 to 15 years.

WINEMAKER'S COMMENTS
The 2007 Hilltop is dark colored with red-purple hues. Aromas of
black plum, cherry and fresh fig are wrapped in a bouquet of roasted
hazelnut, coconut and Italian espresso. This wine offers large palate
volume in a very soft package with a supple finish. This new world
wine showcases the best of the varietal fruit, with complexity and
structure reminiscent of the finest of Bordeaux.
—Steve Peck, red winemaker

 

Price: $42.00 750ml

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