Buy 3 - 2018 J Lohr Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon
Country : USA
Region : Paso Robles
THE J LOHR STORY
Fifty years ago, Jerry Lohr embarked on a career change. What followed would reshape the landscape of the California wine industry and create one of the country’s most popular wine brands.
In the late 1960s, Jerry Lohr began an extensive investigation of California grape growing regions – searching for the ideal location for his first vineyard. Jerry was raised on a South Dakota farm; his agricultural roots armed him with an innate sense for the relationship between climate, soil, and location. His research and instincts led him to the Central Coast, an area just beginning to explore its potential for winegrowing.
Four decades ago, the California Central Coast had not yet emerged as one of North America’s world-class winegrowing regions. With little history or viticultural precedent, planting on the Central Coast was a gamble. One of a handful of early pioneers, Jerry Lohr was among the first to realize the inherent potential of Monterey and Paso Robles for producing high quality grapes and superb wines.
PIONEERING MONTEREY AND PASO ROBLES -JERRY LOHR LEGACY-
It’s no coincidence that the Central Coast’s emergence as a world class winegrowing region runs parallel with the establishment and growth of J. Lohr Vineyards & Winery. Founder Jerry Lohr is one of the region’s pioneers and has played a larger-than-life role in bringing the area to prominence.
Jerry’s instincts led him to two regions located about 75 miles apart. In the early 1970s, he chose Monterey County’s Arroyo Seco district for its cool, windy climate and rocky soils as ideal for Chardonnay. In the 1980s, he recognized the potential of Paso Robles for growing Bordeaux varietals, especially Cabernet Sauvignon – given the area’s rich soils and dramatic diurnal temperature swings between warm days and cool nights.
After Jerry Lohr’s nearly decade-long search for the right place to plant his first vineyard, he chose a site in Monterey County that was to become the heart of the Arroyo Seco appellation. Jerry originally planted 280 acres in 1972 and 1973 near Greenfield. Monterey County’s Arroyo Seco appellation has proved ideal for growing layered, complex Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Brisk winds and fog off Monterey Bay, stony, well-drained soils, and a lack of damaging fall rains all combine to produce grapes with trademark fruit intensity and balancing acidity. In 1974, Jerry unveiled the first J. Lohr winery in San Jose.
In the early 1980s, Jerry Lohr saw the potential for great Cabernet Sauvignon further south. Borrowing a lesson from the French—that great Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon excel in very different growing conditions—Jerry began planting Cabernet Sauvignon and other red varieties in San Luis Obispo County’s little-known Paso Robles region in 1986. With the hands-on devotion of an artisan farmer, Jerry tended to the vines while diligently working toward the creation and development of an adjacent winery and barreling cellars; J. Lohr’s Paso Robles production facility was opened in 1988.
Thanks to a “Miracle March,” the 2018 growing season will be remembered as the fourth in a string of normal rainfall years in Paso Robles. Over 70% of the season’s rainfall was accumulated in a 3-week period, which kicked off a vintage of exceptional quality and yield. A nice stretch of warm weather in May assured a good bloom and fruit set on the developing clusters. This was followed by an unprecedented 46-day heat spell beginning in early July. The result was an extended growing season, as vines slowed photosynthesis as a defense against the high temperatures.
The 2018 Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon is primarily sourced from the relatively cool El Pomar District sub- AVA in Paso Robles, where the J. Lohr Shotwell Vineyard is located. A lesser amount is from the J. Lohr Beck Vineyard, located at a 1,700 foot elevation in the Creston District. The blend also utilizes a collection of other small sites in the Paso Robles AVA. Blessed with long summer days of intense sunshine, our near 100°F daytime temperatures are followed by 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, resulting in the darkest possible fruit with resolved tannins year after year.
93 Points, Editors’ Choice
WINE ENTHUSIAST ADVANCE BUYING GUIDE, APRIL 2021
The 2018 J. Lohr Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon is effusive with fresh varietal aromas of black cherry and hints of toasted pastry and baking spice on the nose. Dense and soft on the palate. Elegant layers of black and red currants leave a bright finish.