J. Lohr Vineyard Series

Oaxacan Black Molé with Chicken

Assistant Winemaker Karl Antink isn’t shy about his love for heat, and has modified this exciting recipe, originally found in Gourmet Magazine. The many delicious spices and ingredients mean this is a meal to wow your next large dinner party.  If you have difficulty sourcing chiles, you can pare down with a larger number chipotle chiles—just don’t include jalapeños!  While the Valdiguié cools the spice with fresh, ripe berry and cherry flavors, the Hilltop Cabernet’s supple richness complements the chocolate in the molé. Enjoy!

This recipe calls for different components that work beautifully together to offer an aromatic yet nuanced flavor profile. Ingredients and directions are separated for ease of preparation.

Ingredients

Chile Purée:

  • 10 dried Pasilla chiles
  • 5 dried Arbol chiles
  • 5 dried Ancho Negro chiles
  • 2 dried Chipotle chiles
  • 2 dried Cascabel chiles
  • 2 quarts boiling water

Remove seeds and stems from all dried chiles and save the seeds. Toast chiles in a dry skillet set to med-high heat until they start to blacken but not burn. When the chiles are toasted place them in a bowl and cover chiles with boiling water. Let soak for 30 minutes. While the chiles are soaking toast chile seeds in the same skillet until they begin to blacken then add to soaking chiles. After 30 minutes transfer chiles to blender, add enough of the soaking water to facilitate blending and create a smooth puree. Strain chile purée into another bowl to remove pieces of skins and seeds. Set chile purée aside.

Seasoning mixture:

  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 T whole almonds
  • 2 T whole raw peanuts, shelled
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3-5 black pepper corns
  • 3 cloves
  • 1-2 allspice berries
  • 1 slice bread, torn into large pieces
  • 1 ripe plantain
  • ½ cup sesame seeds
  • 2 T pecans
  • 2 T pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 2 T raisins
  • 2 T prunes
  • Vegetable oil

Cook onion and garlic in a dry skillet on med-high heat, stirring occasionally until charred in spots and remove to a large bowl. Toast almonds, peanuts, cinnamon stick, black peppercorns, cloves, allspice berries, pecans and pepitas, stirring occasionally until browned in spots then add to the seasoning mixture bowl with onions and garlic. Heat 2-3 T of oil in skillet until smoking, add raisins and prunes and cook until raisins plump up and change color. Remove raisins and prunes and add to the seasoning mixture. Place bread in same skillet with more oil if needed and cook until browned, add to seasoning mixture. In same skillet with more oil if needed, fry diced plantain until brown and add to seasoning mixture. Fry sesame seeds in the same skillet at low heat, with constant stirring until lightly browned. Grind sesame seeds to paste in a bowl and add to the seasoning mixture. Purée seasoning mixture with 2 cups of chicken stock until smooth. Strain mixture into a bowl.

Tomato mixture:

  • ½ lb tomatoes
  • ¼ lb tomatillos, husks removed
  • ½ t dried thyme
  • ½ t dried Mexican oregano
  • ½ t dried epazote

Char tomatoes and tomatillos over a grill or in a dry skillet set to med-high until skins are blackened in spots. Dice tomatoes and tomatillos and purée in a blender with the thyme, oregano, epazote and ½ cup chicken stock. Strain purée and set aside.

Additional:

  • 6-8 lbs of cooked chicken. The chicken can be roasted, grilled or stewed
  • 4 oz Mexican chocolate
  • 1 dried avocado leaf
  • 2 quart chicken stock

Preparation
Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in 5-6 quart heavy pot until shimmering; add all chile purée (watch for splattering). Cook until purée is reduced by one third or so while stirring. Stir in tomato purée and cook for 8-10 minutes stirring until slightly reduced and thick. Stir in seasoning mixture and cook for 10 minutes while stirring. Stir in 1 cup of chicken stock and cook for 15-20 minutes with stirring. Add Mexican chocolate and stir until melted. Toast an avocado leaf briefly over flame or in a skillet and add to pot. Add 4 cups of chicken stock and simmer with stirring until molé reaches desired thickness (Molé should be at least thick enough to cover the back of a spoon). Season to taste with salt.

To Serve:
Spoon molé over chicken, serve with rice and J. Lohr Estates Wildflower Valdiguié.or J. Lohr Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon. Molé can be prepared a day in advance and refrigerated.

Serves 10-12

Grilled Mushrooms with Polenta and Fonduta di Cambozola

VP, Marketing Cynthia Lohr loves this appetizer for its simplicity and ease-of- preparation, not to mention its ability to appeal to the three generations in her family!  She’s also a closet lover of mushrooms, whose flavors contrast nicely with the soft berry finish of the Fog’s Reach Pinot Noir.

Ingredients
Fonduta de Cambozola:

  • ½ head of roasted garlic, peeled and mashed
  • 5 oz of Cambozola cheese
  • ½ cup whipping cream
  • 4 triangles polenta, prepared for grilling (recipe below)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ½ pound porcini, chanterelles, or portabella mushrooms, cleaned and sliced ¼ inch thick
  • 2 t chives, chopped

Polenta preparation for grilling:

  • 2 cups water
  • ½ cup polenta
  • ½ t salt
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 t olive oil

Preparation
Bring the water to boil in a large saucepan.  Add the polenta in a thin stream, stirring constantly with a whisk.  Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently and scraping the sides and bottom of the pot, until the mixture is thick and bubbly.  Remove pot from the heat and stir in the salt and cheese.  Pour the mixture into a lightly oiled 8 X 8 inch baking pan and let it cool to room temperature (this can be prepared the day before and refrigerated).

Turn the cold polenta out onto a cutting board and cut it into four equal squares, then cut each square into two triangles.

Putting it all together:
Prepare a medium-hot fire in an open or covered grill.  If you don’t already have some roasted garlic on hand, place a whole head near the edge of the heat while the fire is getting ready for cooking.  Roast until the outer cloves are quite soft.  Let it cool enough to handle then slice it in half crosswise, squeeze out half of the cloves, and mash them with a fork.

For the fonduta, scrape the white rind off the cheese and cut the cheese into small cubes.  Whisk the cream and garlic together in a skillet over medium heat; bring just to a boil, reduce slightly, and stir in the cheese a little at a time, whisking until smooth.  Keep warm.

Brush the polenta pieces with a little oil and season with salt and pepper.  Grill, starting with the bumpy side down, until heated through and lightly browned, about 3 minutes per side.  As they are done, move them to the edge of the grill to keep them warm, or to warmed plates.  Oil and season the mushroom slices and grill them over the hottest part of the fire until tender and nicely browned, 2 to 4 minutes per side.  To serve, place a piece of polenta on each plate, arrange mushroom slices on top, and spoon the fonduta over all.  Garnish with chives.

Serves 4

2007 J. Lohr Tower Road Petite Sirah

VINTAGE

The 2007 vintage offered up some stellar wines from our Paso Robles vineyards including the second release of J. Lohr Tower Road Petite Sirah for limited national distribution. Originally created as a wine for our two J. Lohr Wine Centers in San Jose and Paso Robles, the Tower Road Petite Sirah quickly became a favorite of our visiting distributors, often requesting it for their respective markets. It is built on a backbone of Petite Sirah, which is in many ways not petite at all. In fact, it is the largest-berried and largest-clustered variety we grow in Paso Robles, and amazingly, it is also the variety with the greatest phenolic content, with gobs of color and tannin. In most years with Petite Sirah, it is more an exercise in restraining the extraction rather than trying to maximize it. The 2007 vintage includes our block 64 Petite Sirah vineyard bounded on its southern end by Tower Road. The vintage was outstanding for Petite Sirah, producing jet-black fruit with tremendous berry fruit flavors. Although the wine is made to showcase Petite Sirah, the blend is supported by some other Paso favorites, including Grenache and Syrah, which lengthen palate and brighten fruit expression. This is a big, beautifully-colored and extracted wine, sure to please those who enjoy big reds.

 


TECHNICAL DATA

 

Origin: Paso Robles AVA, San Luis Obispo County
Composition: 91% Petite Sirah, 6% Grenache, and 3% Syrah
Harvest Dates: September 19th thru October 12th, 2007
Process: Hand-harvested early morning, destemmed and crushed to twelve and twenty-four ton stainless steel fermenters
Harvest Numbers: 27.0° Brix average, pH=3.65, Total Acidity 0.45 g/100 ml
Vinification: Yeast: Pasteur Red

Fermentation: Stainless steel fermented with punchdowns and manual pumpovers

Temperature: To 92°F

Maceration:5 days

Maloactic: Inoculation in stainless steel and completion in 60% new French, Hungarian and American oak barrels

Maturation: Fifteen months in oak barrels; 60% new oak

Barrel Type: 30% new French, 15% new Bulgarian and 15% new American oak

Forests: Nevers, Center of France, Bulgarian, Missouri

Coopers: Francois Frères, Desrieux, Meyrieux, World Cooperage

Post-Maturation: Rack from barrels, egg white fine and bottle
Bottling Numbers:

pH: 3.65

Total Acidity: 0.66g/l00ml

Alcohol:14.8% by volume

Res. Sugar: 0.31 g/100ml


Winemaker's Comments

An opaque blackness fills the glass and is surrounded by a ring of youthful magenta. The 2007 J. Lohr Tower Road Petite Sirah has dark, brooding aromas of blackberry pie and black currant with a bouquet of dark chocolate, hazelnut and cedar. The flavors are reminiscent of the aromas, with dark chocolate taking the fore, a plush mid-palate, velvety mouthfeel and a long, savory finish. Tower Road Petite Sirah, given its size and structure, would pair well with roasted venison, elk or beef with a lingonberry reduction sauce.

Steve Peck, red winemaker

 

Price: $35.00 750ml

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2007 J. Lohr October Night Chardonnay

VINTAGE

2007 was the coolest vintage of the last five years and included unseasonably cold and windy temperatures during fruit set, causing a phenomenon that the French call “millenderage” or “hens and chicks.” The result is a cluster with normal size berries - “hens” - interspersed with tiny unfertilized (seedless) berries - “chicks.” Although the Chardonnay clusters were very small and light-weight, the flavor intensity seemed to be enhanced in the diminished size. This intensified fruit character and retention of the grape’s natural acidity allowed us to delay harvest until we reached a very ripe 25.7° Brix, creating a wine of tremendous fruit intensity and lush palate weight.


VINEYARDS

The vineyards for the October Night Chardonnay lie in J. Lohr’s Block 9 plantings in the Arroyo Seco AVA of Monterey County, near the mouth of the Arroyo Seco river, which provides the vines a slightly more wind protected environment in which to grow. Comprised largely of Dijon Clone 809 Chardonnay -known in some circles as the Musqué Clone -these vines produce a very distinctive and attractive, powerful floral character. The soil is laden throughout its loamy profile with “Greenfield potatoes,” stones that resemble potatoes in size and appearance and which absorb heat during the day and radiate their heat after sunset, enhancing floral character and richness.


TECHNICAL DATA

 

Origin: October Night Vineyard, Arroyo Seco AVA, Monterey County
Composition: 100% Chardonnay
Harvest Dates: September 27th and October 14th, 2007
Process: Night harvested, vineyard pressed (to 0.8 bars) and settled.
Harvest Chemistries: 25.7° Brix avg, pH 3.46, total acidity 0.8 g/100ml
Vinification: Yeast: M2 and Montrachet

Fermentation: In barrel for an average of 13 days

Malo-Lactic: Inoculated each barrel with MCW strain of malolactic bacteria on Oct 22, 2007. Completed malolactic fermentation on Dec 6, 2007.

Stirring: Weekly stirring of each barrel starting Oct 22, 2007 until Jan 2008 (during malolactic fermentation and one month post)

Post-Stirring: Monthly topping up of barrels and free sulfur dioxide and oxygen monitoring

Maturation: Aged in barrel sur lie for 11 months in 28% new oak


Winemaker's Comments

A youthful straw yellow color, with Muscat and floral aromas, pear, lemon curd and vanilla. The winemaking techniques to enhance the spicy and exotic nature of this Chardonnay included barrel fermentation in largely one-year-old French oak barrels in the coldest corner of our barrel room, followed by malolactic fermentation with lees stirring, all contributing to a wonderfully complex bouquet that is echoed on the palate with textural richness.

 

Price: $25.00 750ml

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2006 J. Lohr Late Harvest White Riesling

The 2006 vintage in the Arroyo Seco region of Monterey began with one of the wettest springs on record, with rain nearly every day in March-indeed a record. This unusual rain affected bud fertility, ultimately reducing cluster numbers (and consequently yields) in White Riesling. The growing season started warm, followed by very cool weather in June, July and August with the exception of a short heat spike during the third week of July. The combination of record spring rain, warm late spring weather and a cool summer encouraged slow ripening and ubiquitous Botrytis (the noble mold) development - so much so, that for the first time since 1995 we had ideal conditions to hand-select this fruit and produce a Late Harvest Riesling. We hand-harvested the Botrytis-affected White Riesling clusters on October 26th, destemmed and crushed the fruit and let it sit overnight in the press before gently removing the free run nectar at 31.1° Brix with 7.7 grams per liter of acidity the following day.


Vineyard

The Bay Mist vineyard lies just east of Cypress Avenue in the heart of our early Greenfield vineyard plantings which surround our lone iconic Monterey pine tree in the Arroyo Seco AVA. The vineyard has some original White Riesling on its own roots planted in 1972, and some White Riesling vines planted in 1995. The soils are largely Chualar loam, underlain by stones deposited from the Arroyo Seco over the millennium. The winds of the Salinas Valley are particularly intense in the Bay Mist vineyard due to its position at the beginning of an elevated plateau just to the north.

 


TECHNICAL DATA

 

Origin: Bay Mist Vineyard, Arroyo Seco, Monterey
Composition: 100% White Riesling
Harvest Date: October 26th, 2006
Process: Hand harvested, early morning, destemmed and crushed into press for 18 hour skin contact, press to 0.6 bars
Harvest Chemistries: 31.1° Brix, pH=3.43, 7.7 g/Liter Total Acidity
Vinification: Yeast: M2
Fermentation:In stainless steel tank for 21 days
Post-Fermentation: Racked off of gross lees, cold stabilized, fined and sterile-filtered after 3 months in tank
Maturation: 45 days in stainless steel post fermentation
pH at Bottling: 3.16
Alcohol: 12.3% by volume
Residual Sugar: 10.81 g/100 ml
Bottling Date: January 18, 2007

Winemaker's Comments

After an eleven-year absence, we are proud to reintroduce the 2006 J. Lohr Bay Mist Late Harvest White Riesling, which is light golden yellow in color with Botrytis-induced aromas of dried apricots, peaches, pears and candied oranges. The enticingly high 10.3% residual sugar is wonderfully balanced by the wine's crisp acidity and 3.16 pH, creating a versatile wine to be enjoyed on its own as dessert, or paired with fruit sorbets or pears baked in cream.

Jeff Meier, winemaker

 

 Price: $25.00 (375ml)

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2007 J. Lohr Fog’s Reach Vineyard Pinot Noir

The 2007 vintage of J. Lohr’s Fog’s Reach Pinot Noir marks our second release of this noble varietal.  Grown on cobbly, sandy loam soils in the cool, windy Arroyo Seco appellation of Monterey, Pinot here seems to thrive, producing tiny, deeply-colored and flavorful clusters. Comprised of Dijon clones 115, 667, 777 and Pommard 4 grown on two different rootstocks, the Pinot Noir grapes were hand-harvested, destemmed and sorted into six or twelve ton, open-top fermentation tanks in our newly created small lot winery in Paso Robles.  The grapes were cold-soaked for an average of five days prior to warming and inoculation with yeast.  Twice per day the Pinot Noir was punched down to optimize extraction of the delicate varietal character until the completion of alcoholic fermentation.  Once pressed, the wines were settled overnight and racked to new and second fill Burgundian-coopered French oak for eight months of barrel aging prior to racking, final blending and bottling.


TECHNICAL DATA

 

Origin: Fog's Reach Vineyard, Arroyo Seco AVA, Monterey County
Composition: 100% Pinot Noir, Clones 115, 667, 777 and Pommard 4
Harvest Dates: October 2nd through October 6th, 2007
Process: Hand-harvested early morning into 1000 lb. bins, destemmed, sorted on Vaucher-Beguet sorting table and crushed to six or twelve ton open top stainless steel fermenters
Cold Soak: Five to seven days
Harvest Numbers: 26.8° Brix average, pH=3.46, Total Acidity
0.73 g/100 m
Vinification: Yeast: RC 212, ICV - GRE and Montrachet
Fermentation: Stainless steel fermented with manual cap
punch down
Temperature: To 92°F
Maceration: 7 to 14 days
Malolactic: Inoculation in stainless steel and completion in
French oak barrels
Maturation: Eight months in 60% new French oak barrels
Barrel Type: 60% new French oak Burgundy-style barrels
(60.9 gallons), 40% second-fill French oak barrels
Forests: Center of France
Coopers: Francois Frères, Dargaud et Jaegle, de Mercurey,
Remond and Sirugue
Post-Maturation: Rack from barrels, blend lots, bottle
Bottling Chemistries: pH: 3.74
Total Acidity: 0.58 g/l00 ml
Alcohol: 15.1% by volume
Residual sugar: Dry   

Winemaker's Comments

Deep red-purple with youthful hues and moderate density, the 2007 J. Lohr Fog’s Reach Pinot Noir has enticing aromas of strawberry, cherry and rhubarb jam, with a bouquet of toasted oak and vanilla.  The flavors are reminiscent of stewed strawberry and cherry with oak spiciness. A wisp of fresh herbs with a velvety structure, and a long, lingering finish make the 2007 Fog’s Reach the perfect accompaniment to grilled lamb or duck.

 

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2008 J. Lohr Carol’s Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc

The 2008 vintage will go down in the record books as one of the smallest in the last quarter century.  Low winter rainfall, in concert with a very cool spring and a very hot week during set seemed to initiate the perfect storm for low grape berry pollination.  Despite the very cool and windy weather in 2008, the extremely small crop accelerated the ripening of the Sauvignon Blanc.  Flavor and sugar development came on rapidly with our first pick of high acid, herby, gooseberry-flavored grapes on August 13th at 22.6º Brix--followed by our second harvest on August 18th at 24.2º Brix--when the flavors changed to grapefruit and passion fruit.  Finally, we harvested our last portion of Sauvignon Blanc on August 22nd – which is before the start of most of our Carol’s Vineyard harvests – at 24.7º Brix.  This last fruit brought strong peach and passion fruit flavors, with tremendous, rich mouthfeel.   In the 2008 vintage, we destemmed, pressed and settled the Sauvignon Blanc in tanks, followed by fermention in a combination of French oak barrels and stainless steel barrels.  All winemaking was done in a very reductive environment (excluding oxygen) and the resultant wine is an elegant, delicately herbal and citrus-flavored Sauvignon Blanc.


Vineyards

Carol’s Vineyard is a thirty-four acre parcel located in north St. Helena in the Napa Valley, bounded on the east by the Napa River and on the north by Pratt Avenue.  Sauvignon Blanc represents 10.88 acres of Carol’s Vineyard and is planted in the eastern portion of the vineyard adjacent to the Napa River where outstanding Sauvignon Blanc has grown.  The soils are very loamy and well drained, with a fair amount of gravel.  The Clone 1 Sauvignon Blanc is grown on a quadrilateral cordon trellis to control vine vigor, preserving a single leaf layer in the south-exposed fruit zone, providing only dappled sun exposure to the grape clusters, which preserves some of the natural herbaceous fruit character.

 


TECHNICAL DATA

 

Origin: Carol’s Vineyard, Napa Valley AVA
Composition: 100% Sauvignon Blanc
Harvest Dates: August 13th, 18th and 22nd 2008
Process: Hand harvested, early morning, crushed and pressed in the Napa Valley
Harvest Chemistries: First Harvest: 22.6º Brix average, pH=3.04, Total Acidity 1.22 g/100 ml
Second Harvest: 24.2º Brix average, pH=3.17, Total Acidity 0.92 g/100 ml
Third Harvest: 24.7º Brix average, pH=3.35, Total Acidity 0.57g/100 ml
Vinification: Yeast: Vin 7, Vin 2000 and Vin 13
Skin Contact: None
Fermentation: 71.9% in stainless steel barrels and 28.1% in new and second-fill Francois Fréres French oak barrels
Maturation: 8 1/2 months in stainless steel and barrel on light lees
Post-Maturation: Racked and pad filtered, prior to bottling.
Bottling Chemistries: pH: 3.30
Total Acidity: 0.71g/l00 ml
Alcohol: 13.6% by volume
Residual sugar: Dry

Winemaker's Comments

The 2008 J. Lohr Carol’s Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc is a pale, youthful, straw yellow color with a complex aroma of grapefruit, dried flowers, gun flint and faint herbaceous freshness.   On the palate, the wine has excellent weight and bright acidity with clean fruit flavors reminiscent of the aromas, making the Carol’s Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc an excellent accompaniment to sautéed or grilled seafood or poultry, or even an entrée salad. Serve at 45 to 50 degrees.

 Jeff Meier, winemaker

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2007 J. Lohr Arroyo Vista Chardonnay

VINTAGE

The vintage of 2007 saw very cool temperatures during flowering resulting in a phenomenon called “hens and chicks” in our Arroyo Vista Chardonnay.  This is a cluster with normal size berries – “hens” - mixed with tiny (seedless or unfertilized) berries – “chicks”.  Although the clusters weigh less, the flavors are intensified in the tiny berries.  And with very little rain in 2007 and very mild weather throughout the vintage this combination of environmental factors produced some truly excellent Chardonnay, rich in texture and full of fruit flavors.  Harvest commenced on the 5th of October with near perfect flavor development at 24.2º Brix, and 8.7 grams per liter of acidity. 


VINEYARDS

The Arroyo Vista Chardonnay is grown in the heart of the windswept and cool Arroyo Seco AVA of Monterey County. Loamy sand and gravelly loam soils of the Elder series are intermixed and underlain by “Greenfield potatoes” – stones that resemble potatoes in size and appearance and which absorb heat during the day and radiate their heat after sunset. This underlayment of stone effectively limits root growth to the top three to five feet of soil, harmoniously balancing the fruit and shoot growth of our richly flavored Chardonnay.


TECHNICAL DATA

 

Origin: Arroyo Seco AVA, Monterey County
Composition: 100% Chardonnay
Harvest Dates: October 5th - 6th, 2007
Process: Night harvested, vineyard pressed (to 0.8 bars) and settled
Harvest Chemistries: 24.2° Brix average, pH=3.33, Total Acidity 8.71 g/Liter
Vinification: Yeast: M2, Uninoculated (Wild Yeast) and M69
Fermentation: In barrel for an average of 17 days
Malo-Lactic: Inoculated each barrel with MCW strain of malolactic bacteria, October 2007, Completed malolactic fermentation in January 2007
Stirring: Weekly stirring of each barrel, starting November 2007 until March 2008 (during malolactic fermentation and five months post)
Post-Stirring: Monthly topping up of barrels and free sulfur dioxide and oxygen monitoring
Maturation: Aged in barrel sur lie in 50% new Francois Frères French “Troncais” oak

Winemaker's Comments

The 2007 J. Lohr Arroyo Vista Chardonnay is a very bright, vibrant yellow color, with aromas of pear, apple, and lime custard. The Burgundian winemaking techniques, including alcoholic and malolactic fermentation in barrel with lees stirring and extended aging, contribute a complex bouquet of grilled hazelnuts, butter, honey and gun flint and amplify an already intensely viscous wine. This is an enticingly delicious Chardonnay with complex aromas and flavors balanced by palate cleansing acidity, perfect for pairing with roasted chicken or cream-sauced pasta dishes.  

 

Price: $25.00 750ml

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2005 J. Lohr Carol’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

HONORING A LEGACY 
Jerry Lohr’s late wife, Carol Waldorf Lohr, passed away in 2008 due to complications from breast cancer.

Please join J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines in our effort to provide 500 mammograms to women in need, through our partnership with the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Research indicates that early detection and treatment are essential to combating breast cancer, and annual mammograms are an essential first step toward confronting this disease. J. Lohr will donate $2 for every bottle of 2005 J. Lohr Carol’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon purchased to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Join us in reaching our goal of funding 500 mammograms for women who would otherwise be unable to afford them.

Building on a legacy of caring and generosity
Long the muse for an idyllic vineyard in Napa Valley bearing her name, Carol is the namesake for a stunning, nearly forty-acre parcel in northern St. Helena, known for producing some of the valley’s most noteworthy Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc, and the origin of the fruit used in this superb vintage. After Carol passed unexpectedly in August 2008 due to complications from breast cancer, the family and employees decided to designate the 2005 vintage of J. Lohr Carol’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon a commemorative release, in part to honor her legacy of caring and generosity.


The 2005 vintage in the Napa Valley started out as a very wet and cool growing season, and dire predictions about vintage quality had vineyard managers and winemakers extremely concerned. Additionally, it appeared to be an above average set, with vines burdened by heavier crops than normal. Despite these rather difficult conditions, 2005 proved to be a vintage of very consistent weather – once summer began in June with mild but warm temperatures throughout July, August and September. The expected Indian summer didn’t materialize either, and allowed us to calmly wait for optimal ripeness of Carol’s Vineyard Cabernet and Petite Verdot. We began hand harvesting on October 13th, finishing on the 25th with excellent color depth and currant fruit flavor in both varietals, at an average of 26.7º Brix..


VINTAGE
Carol’s Vineyard lies in northern St. Helena, comprised of 16.4 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon (Clone 337 on 3309 rootstock) and 4.3 acres of Petit Verdot (Clone 400 on 3309 rootstock). The well-drained, gravelly, sandy loam soil and Bordeaux- like climate of the Napa Valley is ideally suited to produce luxury-quality Cabernet fruit.


TECHNICAL DATA

 

Origin: J. Lohr Carol’s Vineyard, St. Helena, Napa Valley
Composition: 77.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22.5% Petit Verdot
Harvest Dates: October  13th to 25th, 2005
Process: Harvested, destemmed and crushed to stainless steel fermenters
Harvest Chemistries: 26.9° Brix average, pH=3.68, Total Acidity 0.37 g/100 ml
Vinification: Yeast: D21
Fermentation: Stainless steel fermented
Temperature: To 90°F
Extended Maceration: 17 days
Malo-Lactic: Inoculation and completion in French oak barrels
Maturation: 18 months in 100% new French oak barrels
Barrel Type: 80% new French oak Bordeaux Chateau Ferré-style barrels(60.9 gallons)
Forests: Center of France
Coopers: Sylvain, Libourne, Demptos, St. Caprais de Bordeaux, SequinMoreau, Merpins
Post-Maturation: Rack from barrels, filter to bottle
Bottling Numbers: pH: 3.75
Total Acidity: 0.67g/l00ml
Alcohol: 14.6% by volume
Residual sugar: Dry

WINEMAKER'S COMMENTS
Dark, youthful purple-red in color, the 2005 J. Lohr Carol’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon has elegant aromas of red and black currants and cherries, with a complex bouquet of vanilla, allspice and toasty oak. Carol’s Vineyard delivers a dense, yet incredibly supple structure reminiscent of Bordeaux’s finest Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines. Meant for a minimum of five years of cellaring before enjoying with a pan-seared filet mignon with a Cabernet-peppercorn reduction sauce.

 

Price: $40.00 750ml

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2006 J. Lohr Hilltop Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

VINTAGE
The 2006 vintage for Hilltop is one of the most exciting in recent years! Although we saw a return to below average rainfall--and with, it smaller clusters and berries--the weather was ideal, with no significant heat events after veraison, with very mild temperatures throughout the entire harvest.  This allowed sugar, flavor and tannin ripeness to occur simultaneously, producing Cabernet Sauvignon with excellent color, generous black cherry and currant fruit flavors and supple structure. We taste the Cabernet fruit every couple of days in Hilltop, waiting for a doughy, berry pie flavor to develop with easily extractable color from the Cabernet skins.  Harvest commenced rather late, with hand picking of Block 55 and 56 starting on October 11th.


TECHNICAL DATA

 

Origin: Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo County
Composition 90.0% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4.6% Petit Verdot, 2.8% Merlot, 2.3% Cabernet Franc, 0.3% Malbec
Harvest Dates: October  11th through 20th, 2006
Process: Hand-harvested, hand-sorted, destemmed and crushed to small, open top, stainless steel fermenters
Harvest Chemistries: 25.7° Brix average, pH=3.83, Total acidity 0.34 g/100 ml
Vinification: Yeast: Lalvin D80 and Lalvin D21
Fermentation: Stainless steel fermented
Temperature:To 90°F
Extended Maceration: 14 days
Malo-Lactic: Inoculation and completion in stainless steel
Maturation: 20 months in 80% new French oak barrels
Barrel Type: 80% new French oak Bordeaux Château Ferré-style barrels (60.9 gallons), 20% second fill French oak barrels
Forest: Center of France
Coopers: Tonnellerie Sylvain, Libourne, Tonnellerie Vicard, Bordeaux Demptos, St. Caprais de Bordeaux, Tonnellerie  Bel Air, Bordeaux
Post-Maturation: Rack from barrels, fine and filter to bottle
Bottling Numbers: pH: 3.71
Total Acidity: 0.68g/100ml
Alcohol: 14.2% by volume
Residual Sugar: Dry

WINEMAKER'S COMMENTS
Very dark, red-purple in color with youthful hues, the 2006 J. Lohr  Hilltop Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon has bright enticing aromas of cherries and berries with a bouquet of anise, vanilla and toasted oak. The 2006 Hilltop is a complex wine with a supple, yet ample texture and balance, reminiscent of Bordeaux’s finest Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines with the structure to age for 10 to 15 years.

Jeff Meier, winemaker

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