"GOLD" - 2011 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
Double Gold - Best of California - 2011 California State Fair
The 2008 growing season presented significant challenges for 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. Merlot was fully ripened and harvested before it could be impacted by an unseasonable October frost. This 2008 Los Osos Merlot is enhanced with a bit of Malbec fruit that adds delicate pomegranate aromas and a soft mid-palate to the blend.
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 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 in our vineyards in Paso Robles, where these well-drained but relatively poor soils have chalky or gravelly components.
|Apellation:||Paso Robles AVA, San Luis Obispo County|
|Composition:||81% Merlot, 9% Petite
Sirah, 7% Malbec, 2% Syrah
|Harvest Dates:||September 9 through October 3, 2008|
|Brix at harvest:||27.0°-28.0° Brix avg|
|Fermentation:||Whole berry fermentation in stainless steel tanks|
|Maturation:||12 months in barrel|
|Barrel type:||American (Missouri and Minnesota) and Hungarian oak|
|Total Acidity:||0.67 g/100ml|
|Alcohol:||13.74% by volume|
|Cellaring: .||Delicious now, but has the structure to age up to 7 years|
The 2008 J. Lohr Estates Los Osos Merlot has a mature red color with a bright raspberry hue. Black cherry and pomegranate aromas are complimented by an oak signature reminiscent of cedar and dark chocolate. This soft wine has finely textured tannins and is bright and lively on the palate with a finish of Rainier cherry fruit.