J Lohr Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon (Paso Robles), CA 2008

Tasting:          Date: September 05, 2012

Varietal:         Cabernet Sauvignon

Country:         USA, CA

Tasting Date Price:  $24.99

Rating:  NA

Alcohol Content:  14%

Vineyard Website:  http://www.jlohr.com/

Visual Aspect:  Dark red & purple

Nose:  Generous aromas of black cherry, currant and plum fruit

Palate:  A complex wine with a plump, soft textured mouthfeel and long finish.

Food Pairing:  Highly complementary to a wide range of foods. Try it with tomato based pasta or a London Broil.

Winery Notes: 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.

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.

Fermentation:  Small SS tanks and open-top tanks Maturation: 18 months in 225 liter French oak barrels

Post-Maturation: 11 months bottle age prior to release Alcohol: 14.6 % by vol

Delicious upon release, but has the structure to age for up to 10 to 15 years.

Viticulture:    The 2008 growing season presented significant 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.

Winemaker’s Comments: A buoyant 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



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