When comparing California wine styles to those of other regions around the world, one theme that emerges is the riper style and generally higher alcohol content of California wines versus Old World wines. The French in particular are accustomed to a climate where chaptalization (adding sugar) is required in most vintages, while California sunshine nearly always assures fully ripe fruit. (Some would say over-ripe.) In the 2010 vintage we saw the coolest daily temperatures in a decade in all our Paso Robles vineyards. We achieved intensely ripe flavors at lower Brix levels than we’ve seen in the past. Grenache in particular benefits from cooler seasonal temperatures, as this aids in color development and preserves the delicate fruitiness in the aroma and finish.
The source of Grenache and Mourvèdre in this blend is from a vineyard once known as Gravity Hills. Located in the Willow Creek district, on the western edge of the Paso Robles AVA, these ten-year-old vines are planted on a steep, southwest-facing lime-shale hillside. The 23% slope in these blocks makes even just walking the vineyard very difficult. Our farming plan brings the crop to one cluster per shoot, and in order to intensify flavor, these large-clustered varieties require trimming off the wings and the lower third of the clusters shortly after set. The Syrah component for this blend came from block 4 of the Terra Bella Vineyard, located within the warmer Adelaida district of the western Paso Robles AVA at an elevation of 1,800 feet..
|Origin:||Paso Robles AVA, San Luis Obispo County|
|Composition:||75% Grenache, 21% Syrah, 4% Mourvèdre|
|Harvest Dates:||Grenache picked October 29th, 2010|
|Harvest Process:||Hand-harvested fruit was destemmed and berry-sorted before fermentation|
|Harvest Chemistries:||26.4° Brix, 3.47 pH, 0.55 g/100ml total acidity|
|Yeast: Lallemand ICV-”RC212”|
|Fermentation: Fermented in open-top fermentors, with light punch downs daily|
|Temperature: Three day cold soak followed by a moderate 88°F fermentation temperature|
|Maceration: 9 days on skins prior to pressing|
|Malolactic: 100% malolactic, V. Oenos strain|
|Maturation: 14 months in puncheons|
|Barrel type: 500 liter French oak puncheons, 40% new|
|Bottle Aging: Bottled March 23rd, 2012|
|Total Acidity: 0.70 g/100ml|
|Alcohol: 14.88% by volume|
|Res. Sugar: Dry|
|Cellaring: Delicious now, but can be cellared for up to 5 years.|
“The 2010 J. Lohr Gesture GSM is medium in color with a bright hue. The high-toned red fruit character of Grenache is spiced by a fraction of Syrah, while Mourvèdre provides a slight savory element. Aging in French oak puncheons contributes aromas of baking spice and a palate structure to the wine. The long-lasting, plummy flavors are refreshing, whetting the appetite for healthy cuisine.”
-Steve Peck, Red Winemaker
Pairs well with grilled meats or fish seasoned with traditional Herbes de Provence. Try with spicy crab cakes, vegetable stew or vegetarian pizza.