Following a relatively dry winter, the 2008 growing season began with an early bud break in mid March. A troublesome arctic cold front in April brought frost damage and limited crop size in winegrape vineyards, blueberry fields and cherry orchards from British Columbia to Southern California. Typical summer heat accumulation came sporadically and brix levels rose while the fruit retained its natural acidity. The quality of the 2008 vintage is apparent in the wine’s density and strong regional expression of fresh fruit character.
Mourvèdre for our J. Lohr Gesture was grown at VZZ Vineyard, 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 this block makes just walking the vineyard very difficult. Our farming plan brings the crop to one cluster per shoot for this large-clustered variety, which requires trimming off the wings and the lower third of the clusters shortly after set in order to intensify flavor and color. We hand-harvested into half-ton bins on October 18th. The final picking decision was predicated on a moderation of fruit acidity just prior to harvest. To round out this varietal blend, we incorporated 13% Syrah clone 877 and 12% Grenache from the VZZ Vineyard.
|Appellation:||Paso Robles AVA, San Luis Obispo County|
|Composition:||75% Mourvèdre, 13% Syrah,
|Harvest Dates:||October 18th, 2008|
|Harvest chemistries:||30.2° Brix, pH 3.64,
total acidity .54 g/100ml
|Fermentation:||Open-top tanks with daily
|Temperature:||Six-day cold soak before
inoculation. Peak fermentation to 90° F.
|Maceration:||15 days to pressing|
|Malolactic:||100% malolactic in barrel|
|Maturation:||14 months in 1 year old French
oak, with 50% in new French oak for 3 months
|Barrel type:||French oak barrels|
||4 months prior to release|
|Total Acidity:||0.71 g/100ml|
|Alcohol:||15.28% by volume|
|Cellaring:||Delicious now, but can be
cellared for 8 to 10 years
“Mourvèdre is also known as Mataro or Monastrell and dozens of other synonyms and is believed to be native of Spain. The 2008 Gesture Mourvèdre is very dark with a bluish hue. Inviting aromas of tobacco and game open up to bing cherry once tasted. Wonderfully soft and voluminous on the palate, the crisp acidity activates the long finish.”
—Steve Peck, red winemaker