J. Lohr Estates South Ridge Syrah

2011 J. Lohr Estates South Ridge Syrah

VINTAGE
Cool weather returned in 2011, much like the previous season which had been the coolest vintage in a decade. The winter season provided above average rainfall to the region and created great optimism among Paso Robles winegrape growers, until a widespread frost event on April 8th levied a 30% crop penalty on most varieties. Syrah, being an early budbreak variety, was not immune to this frost damage and yields were less than 3 tons per acre overall. Cool summer weather and low crop levels favored bigger vine canopies and great color development, even in warmer sites. Only 15 days registered temperatures greater than 100°F during the 2011 season in Paso Robles. This was the lowest number of hot days since 1997. Our restrictive vineyard irrigation methods at J. Lohr helped to render ripe seeds and to shift aromatics from white pepper to blue fruit in the final wine, in spite of the overall cool season.


VINEYARDS
The J. Lohr Estates South Ridge Syrah is grown on a combination of lime-laden and gravelly soils, which rein in Syrah’s rangy growth potential. The name South Ridge is derived from the orientation of its namesake vineyard, which sits on a south-facing hillside, resulting in fruit with intense flavors. As the popularity of Syrah has grown, we have planted two additional estate vineyards, one within a mile of the original planting, and the second eight miles south in a slightly cooler area of the Paso Robles AVA.


TECHNICAL DATA

Origin: Paso Robles AVA, San Luis Obispo County, CA
Varietal Blend: 100% Syrah 
Harvest Dates:
September 26th thru November 6th, 2011
Brix at Harvest: 24.9° Brix, pH 3.57, total acidity 0.56g/100ml
Vinification:  
  Fermentation: Fermented in 20-ton stainless steel fermenters
  Malolactic: 100% malolactic 
  Maturation: 12 months in oak barrels
  Barrel type: Low-toasted American and French oak, 18% new
Bottling Chemistries:
  pH: 3.85
  Total Acidity: 0.62 g/100 ml
  Alcohol: 13.91% by volume 
  Residual Sugar:0.02 g/100 ml
  Cellaring: Bright and fruit-driven at release; a softer and more complex palate will emerge over 5 years of aging.

WINEMAKER'S COMMENTS
Varietal aromas of pomegranate, black tea and blueberry are lifted by barrel aging on the lees in a blend of American and French oak barrels. Restrained notes of vanilla and a lean tannin structure are evident in this bright, fruit-driven Syrah.
-Steve Peck, Red Winemaker

FOOD PAIRINGS
Try with Ancho chile shrimp pasta, duck confit or rare sesame-crusted Ahi tuna.

WINE LIST DESCRIPTION
Black tea and blueberry aromas with a lean tannin structure.

Price: $15.00 750ml

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2010 J. Lohr Estates South Ridge Syrah

VINTAGE
2010 was the coolest vintage Paso Robles has seen in a decade. With winter rainfall 50% above normal, and growing degree days well below average, there were concerns that this vintage may not completely ripen. The cool forecast provided an ideal challenge for the newest evolution in our vineyard irrigation strategy, which involved absolutely zero irrigation for an extended period of time beginning in mid-June, just after fruitset. Our weekly monitoring of vine water status allowed us to precisely determine when soil profiles had dried out and whether vines were in need of watering. Initially, we expected that a three to five week “dry-down” would be possible, but were impressed that most of our resourceful Syrah did not reach significant water stress until a full two months had passed without irrigation. Our dramatic approach in the vineyard kept berry size small and switched vines from a vegetative state to a reproductive state early in the season, driving early seed maturity and dramatic flavor maturity that is evident in this wine.


VINEYARDS
The J. Lohr Estates South Ridge Syrah is grown on a combination of predominantly sandy and gravelly soils, to reign in Syrah’s rangy growth potential. The name South Ridge is derived from the orientation of its namesake vineyard, which sits on a southfacing hillside, resulting in fruit with intense flavors. As the popularity of Syrah has grown, we have planted two additional estate vineyards, one within a mile of the original planting, and the second is eight miles south in a slightly cooler area of the Paso Robles AVA.


TECHNICAL DATA

Origin: Paso Robles AVA, San Luis Obispo County, CA
Varietal Blend: 100% Syrah 
Harvest Dates:
September 18th to November 5th, 2010
Brix at Harvest: 24.6° Brix
Vinification:  
  Fermentation: Fermented in 20-ton stainless steel fermenters
  Malolactic: 100% malolactic in tank
and barrel
  Maturation: 12 months in oak barrels
  Barrel type: Low-toasted American and French oak, 18% new
Bottling Chemistries:
  pH: 3.7
  Total Acidity: 0.66 g/100 ml
  Alcohol: 13.7% by volume 
  Residual Sugar:0.17 g/100 ml
  Cellaring: Soft and approachable at release; will age nicely up to 7 years.

WINEMAKER'S COMMENTS
The 2010 is particularly dark in color, with aromas of pomegranate, black tea, blueberry and prune. Low-toasted oak accentuates the fruit, bringing vanilla and a supple, lean tannin structure that invites food pairing. The finish is bright and fruit-driven on the palate.
-Steve Peck, Red Winemaker

FOOD PAIRINGS
Perfect with black and blue Ahi tuna, duck confit or a savory Tri-tip with ancho chile glaze.

WINE LIST DESCRIPTION
Particularly dark in color, with aromas of pomegranate, black tea, blueberry and prune.

 

Price: $15.00 750ml

http://winestore.jlohr.com/2010-j-lohr-estates-south-ridge-syrah-p718.aspx

Label: 

2009 J. Lohr Estates South Ridge Syrah

Vintage
2009 was another low rainfall year in the Paso Robles AVA, and while most other vinifera varieties are able to adapt to hot and dry conditions by closing the stomates on the back of their leaves to conserve water, the stomates on the Syrah vines stay wide open to the end, drawing every last drop of moisture out of the soil. Because Syrah waits open in hope of late summer rain, it has gained a reputation in the industry as an “optimistic variety.” In the 2009 dry season, we capitalized on this phenomenon by allowing our vines to reach high levels of water stress, resulting in a concentrated and dense wine. Complete flavor development and seed maturity allowed for extended maceration in the fermenters. This wine shows density and a lovely expression of blueberry aromas, along with the complex varietal flavors of Syrah.


Vineyard
The J. Lohr Estates South Ridge Syrah is grown on a combination of predominantly sandy and gravelly soils, to reign in Syrah’s rangy growth potential. The name South Ridge is derived from the orientation of its namesake vineyard, which sits on a southfacing hillside, resulting in fruit with intense flavors. As the popularity of Syrah has grown, we have planted two additional estate vineyards, one within a mile of the original planting, and the second is eight miles south in a slightly cooler area of the Paso Robles AVA.


TECHNICAL DATA

 

Origin: Paso Robles AVA, San Luis Obispo County, CA
Varietal Blend: 89% Syrah, 8% Petite Sirah, 3% Zinfandel
Harvest Dates: September 9th-30th, 2009
Brix at Harvest: 25.9° Brix
Vinification:  
Fermentation: Stainless steel fermented
Malolactic: 100% malolactic in tank
and barrel
Maturation: Aged 14 months in oak barrels
Barrel type: French and American oak,
24% new
Bottling chemistries:
pH: 3.77
Total Acidity: 0.65 g/100 ml
Alcohol: 13.70%
Residual Sugar: 0.19%
Cellaring:  Delicious now, but has the structure
to age for up to 7 years.

Winemaker's Comments

This wine has a dark garnet color with a vibrant hue. Rich, ripe aromas of blueberry and black tea are framed by a bouquet of hazelnut, cocoa powder and brown sugar. Savor flavors of blackberry fruit and dark chocolate as this dense vintage evolves and opens up in the glass.
 

Steve Peck, red winemaker

Price: $15.00 750ml

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