Cabernet Sauvignon

2011 J. Lohr Vineyard Series Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon

Publication: 
Decanter
Author: 
Stephen Brook

 

“California Cabernet 2011: Expert Summary” 
 
“The sheer number of high-scoring wines proves 2011 is not a write off, and with large-scale producers eclipsing more prestigious estates, there is great value to be found.”
 
“The panel was surprised when the results were disclosed that half of the Outstandings were, by Napa standards, high-volume wines offered at modest prices. But the surprise was a pleasant one. It shows that consumers don’t have to pay extortionate prices for fine California Cabernet. It also indicates that some larger wineries, like Beringer and J. Lohr, are at an advantage in a tricky vintage as they can select the best fruit from their own vineyards and from those that supply them on a contract basis…
 
Given the very high number of Highly Recommended wines, in itself a tribute to the vintage, it’s hard to draw firm conclusions. The panel admired big Napa reds like Darioush, Pahlmeyer, Quintessa, Groth and the three from Robert Craig, but gave comparable scores to more elegant, restrained styles such as the wines from Spottswoode, Mondavi’s To Kalon Reserve and Chimney Rock. Nor were all the top wines from Napa. J. Lohr’s Hilltop Cabernet comes from its 800ha in Paso Robles; by California standards it’s not expensive and it’s wonderful to see such quality spread over 17,000 cases (Lohr’s Napa Cab also excelled).”

2011 J. Lohr Vineyard Series Carol's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

Publication: 
The Toronto Star
Author: 
Gord Stimmell
Score: 
92+ Points
“Affordable Vintages That Won’t Dent Your Wallet”
 
“The first Vintages release of the year on Jan. 10 is a welcome relief from two months of rising holiday-driven prices.
 
In short, I have not seen so many terrific $13, $14 and $15 wines in one big wave since last January. My top five choices for amazing affordable excellence are depicted with bottle images and full reviews here.
 
The Wakefield white is from a Down Under value leader whose reds are often $5 less that comparable reds. Yep, this chard also tastes like a $20-plus wine.
 
Mulderbosch brings Chenin Blanc, a grape variety South Africa wrongly tried to weed out during the global chardonnay revolution, to an artful level. Watch as well for old vine chenins, they can be killer good.
 
The Bersano Gavi is classic. I prefer Gavi any day to pinot grigios, as Gavi so often brims with personality and stands up to a huge range of cuisine.
 
Our Rioja of the day is from Ontanon, who have a huge stable of great Spanish reds that trickle into Ontario. I wish the trickle were a gush, they are so delicious.
 
California provides us with Michael David Incognito, a dance of mainly Syrah but with petite Sirah, carignan, mourvèdre, cinsaut and Grenache in the hopper. Actually, it is a field blend, so the vineyard provides the blending. Very cool and a very European tradition, mainly from the old days.
 
Missing is an Italian gem I could not obtain a bottle shot for, 12 E Mezzo 2012 Primitivo Del Salento (#395053, $13.95, 90), a red joy from Puglia with black cherry, plum, dates, and mocha-accented cherry vanilla layers. It’s actually my best buy red of the entire release!
 
Also amazing is Piazzano 2012 Chianti (#393199, $14.95, 90+) with seductive black cherry, blueberry, red plum, anise and mocha. It’s a super smooth red Tuscan charmer.
 
What, you want a luxury wine? I could only find one worth the price tag, J. Lohr Carol’s Vineyard 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon (#246918, $49.95, 92+) with lush coconut, violets, black cherry, smoke, anise and plum succulence. This is a single vineyard, small batch from the producer of the ever popular chardonnay. Cheers!”

2011 J. Lohr Vineyard Series Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon

Publication: 
Cheers
Author: 
Cheers National Wine Panel
Score: 
97 Points
“The Best Wines of 2014”
“Our national wine panel recommends wines throughout the year, typically by varietal or season, and provides brief tasting notes, ratings and the wine’s retail price (which varies from store to store and market to market). These are the highest-rated wines for 2014 they have selected. The Cheers national wine panel is comprised of beverage experts from restaurants and retail wine stores around the country.”
2011 J. Lohr Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon – 97 Points; A top-flight wine. Superior in taste and character and providing an outstanding price/value relationship.
“A beautiful, harmonious blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Verdot, Malbec and Syrah from prime vineyard sites; aged 18 months in oak; smooth, balanced, full-bodied, with rich layers of cherries and blackberries.”

2011 J. Lohr Vineyard Series Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon

Publication: 
Wine Review Online
Author: 
Robert Whitley
Score: 
90 Points

“J. Lohr's Hilltop Cabernet is produced from a selection of vineyards in the Paso Robles district and crafted to have structure and complexity. If you are expecting a fat, weighty Paso Cab you will be disappointed. What you get is a beautifully balanced Paso Cab that offers red and black fruit aromas, hints of mocha and coffee, and a touch of spicy oak. And tremendous bang for the buck.”

2011 J. Lohr Vineyard Series Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon

Publication: 
Cheers
Author: 
Cheers National Wine Panel
Score: 
97 Points

“The Best Wines of 2014”
“Our national wine panel recommends wines throughout the year, typically by varietal or season, and provides brief tasting notes, ratings and the wine’s retail price (which varies from store to store and market to market). These are the highest-rated wines for 2014 they have selected. The Cheers national wine panel is comprised of beverage experts from restaurants and retail wine stores around the country.”

2011 J. Lohr Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon
“A beautiful, harmonious blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Verdot, Malbec and Syrah from prime vineyard sites; aged 18 months in oak; smooth, balanced, full-bodied, with rich layers of cherries and blackberries.”

A top-flight wine. Superior in taste and character and providing an outstanding price/value relationship.

2011 J. Lohr Vineyard Series Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon

Publication: 
Houston Chronicle
Author: 
Dale Robertson
Score: 
18.5 out of 20 Points

“Four Wines Worthy of the Season”
“Autumn demands some heft, and these offerings deliver”
“Our cooling temperatures and turning leaves – well, a few anyway – are a welcome reminder that we do have seasons in Houston, and our four recommendations are exactly right for this lovely time of year.

Lots of California geography is on display, from Napa and Sonoma down to Paso Robles, but the two cabs, the merlot and the chardonnay share a common bond. They’ve all got heft and gravitas, which autumn weather demands.

Unless otherwise stated, the prices listed are what Spec’s charges for a cash purchase and bottles were available at chain’s Midtown store at press time. But that doesn’t mean you won’t find the wines elsewhere locally or by ordering directly from the winery.”
2011 J. Lohr Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon
Our tasters: “Gave it a unanimous recommendation with five scores of 9 or higher. ‘Pronounced black fruit and Asian spices with an intense, delicious finish.’”
My score: “9. It was a rough vintage in Paso Robles like many other places in California, starting with a hard early-spring frost. In the right hands, however, wine that got made was quite good, and this is a prime example. The grapes (petite verdot, malbec and syrah make up a small part of the blend) weren’t harvested until late October and early November. The juice spent 18 months in French oak, 60 percent new. Although fruit-forward now, it should age nicely.”

2011 J. Lohr Vineyard Series Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon

Publication: 
Toronto Star
Author: 
Gord Stimmell

“Powerhouse Red Wines in Latest Vintages Release:”
“As we roll towards the gift-giving season, the LCBO has brought out the big guns.

This is as inevitable as the onslaught of Canadian winter.

As promised, here are the ultimate worthy reds in the latest huge Vintages release.

Cabernet Sauvignon aficionados may enjoy chewing on Penfolds Bin 407 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon (#414987, $44.95, 91+) with its big plum, licorice, mocha and blackberry stylings from Down Under. And J. Lohr Hilltop Vineyard 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon (#686584, $39.95, 92) offers beguiling big blackberry, cherry cola, vanilla, and lush long chocolate accented aromas and flavors.

Think gift giving for someone who drools for great wine.”

2011 J. Lohr Vineyard Series Carol's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

Publication: 
Wine Review Online
Author: 
Rich Cook
Score: 
91 Points

“This blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Petit Verdot shows good concentration of red and black berries, violets and a touch of toffee on the nose, well translated on the palate with good depth and richness. The tannins are in the medium range, making it approachable now and ready to improve with a little more bottle age. I'd pair this with grilled tri-tip in garlic olive oil, salt and pepper.”

2011 J. Lohr Vineyard Series Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon

Publication: 
Red Wine Please!
Author: 
Neil Dubois

“Top Ten Red Wines from the 2014 Newport Mansions Wine and Food Festival”
“Once again it is time to crown the Top Ten Red Wines from the Newport Mansions Wine and Food Festival, in this case the 2014 version of this great event. As always, there was fierce competition for inclusion, and as always, this list represents our favorites and is totally subjective. We consider quality, price, unique characteristics and different wine regions. A wine could be on the list for any one of those factors, or all of them. We tend to not include wines in the $100+ range here, because we don’t buy wines at that price point. That said, we did make the Realm To Kalon Cabernet #1 last year, and that was $150. (You can read about that here) Simply put, it was because it was just that good and we made an exception. You will not see the same exception this year, although we have wines here equal in quality.

As in past years we did not get a chance to try every single wine at the festival, so there is a distinct possibility (and in fact a surety) that we missed something. We’ll also likely list some you did not try even if you went to the Grand Tasting, since some will generally be from the seminars we attended. Everything is fair game.

So here we go, and keep in mind most of these decisions really come down to splitting hairs or an overall impression. You can’t go wrong with any of these.”
2011 J. Lohr Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon
“I’ve tasted this twice over the past two weeks and it is consistently excellent. This is a rich, round ready to drink now Cabernet that brings depth and a long, smooth finish. It is really a pleasure to drink, and should leave any big red wine fan satisfied. It checks in at about $35.”

2011 J. Lohr Vineyard Series Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon

Publication: 
San Luis Obispo Tribune
Author: 
Laurie Daniel

“Pick of the Week”
2011 J. Lohr Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon
“One of J. Lohr’s top wines from Paso Robles is this dark, dense cabernet sauvignon. The wine displays flavors of black cherry and plum, hints of anise and cedar and drying tannins.”

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