Vintage: Mother Nature gifted 2017 with generous rainfall after an unprecedented 5-year period of drought conditions in California. Our grapevines awoke from winter the first week of April, with bloom following in the middle of May. Crop set was average at best with modest overall yields for Cabernet Sauvignon. At the end of summer, an extreme heat event brought temperatures as high as 115 degrees in the coastal counties from Los Angeles to north of San Francisco on Labor Day weekend in 2017. Thankfully, our crop of late-ripening red varieties in Paso Robles was unharmed and still a month from harvest which began in earnest in the first week of October, delivering a higher level of sugar and flavor ripeness than we had not seen since the great string of vintages from 2012 to 2014. The intensity of this wine makes it clear that our viticulture crews, winemaking, cellar and bottling teams all delivered their best for this inaugural release of J. Lohr Pure Paso.
Vineyards: The Cabernet Sauvignon was sourced largely from our Shotwell Vineyard in the cooler Region II El Pomar District of Paso Robles where the climate is strongly influenced by marine air drawn in from the Pacific Ocean just 17 miles away. This ranch is predominantly planted to ENTAV clone 169 Cabernet Sauvignon on calcareous Linne-Calodo soils with slopes reaching a challenging 25%. The Petite Sirah hails from our Home Ranch in the warmer Region III Paso Robles Estrella District. This climate is ideal for this heat loving variety where we have manicured our east to west-oriented plantings to capture sunlight on the leaves’ surface while allowing the grape clusters to reach a luxurious level of maturity in the dappled sunlight below the vine canopy.
Composition: 70.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26.5% Petite Sirah, 2% Merlot, 0.5% Petit Verdot, 0.5% Malbec
Pairing: Pairs well with tomato rice dishes like paella or creamy risotto. Exquisite with prime rib or a dense monkfish.