2010 was the coolest vintage Paso Robles has seen in a decade. With winter rainfall nearly 50% above normal, and growing degree days lagging, we had concerns this vintage may not completely ripen. This cool seasonal trend provided an ideal challenge for our progressive approach to vineyard irrigation that imposes ceasing irrigation in mid-June, just after fruitset. We monitored vine water status weekly in each block to precisely determine when soil profiles had dried out, and vines were in need of watering. Initially, we expected that a 3 to 5 week “dry-down” would be possible, but in 2010, most of our resourceful vines did not reach significant water stress until a full 2 months had passed without irrigation. This dramatic approach in our vineyards induced the vines to stop vegetative growth early in the season, and drove rapid seed maturity and tannin maturation in this cool vintage. This allowed Hilltop Cabernet to continue to live up to its reputation for being dense, soft and never green.
Our Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon is grown on a handful of select vineyard sites in the Paso Robles AVA. Blessed with long days of intense sunshine, near 100°F temperatures, and chilly, ocean-cooled nights where fifty-degree temperature swings are not uncommon, our Cabernet vines struggle to survive in the parched, often very gravelly, and sometimes lime shale-laden soils. Water is at a premium in these vineyards, enabling the viticulturist to fine-tune irrigation, producing the darkest fruit with resolved tannins year after year.
|Appellation:||Paso Robles AVA,
San Luis Obispo County County, CA
|Composition||99% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Syrah|
|Harvest Dates:||October 27 to 30, 2010|
|Process:||Select picked and sorted|
|Harvest Chemistries:||25.3° Brix, 3.56 pH, total acidity 0.42 g/100ml|
|Vinification:||Yeast: Lalvin ICV-D80 yeast was isolated by Dominique Delteil of the ICV in 1992 from the Côte Rôtie area of the Rhône Valley for its ability to ferment musts high in sugar and polyphenols.
Fermentation: Primary fermentation in open-top and conventional stainless steel tanks
Temperature: Peak fermentation at 92°F
Maceration: 6 days on skins
Malolactic: Malolatic complete with Viniflora Oenos
Maturation: 18 months in 225 liter French oak barrels, 60% new
Barrel Type: French oak, thick stave
Forest: French, very tight grain
Coopers: Sylvain, Demptos, Bel Air, Remond
|Post-Maturation:||8 months bottle age prior to
|Bottling Numbers:||pH: 3.64
Total Acidity: 0.64 g/100ml
Alcohol: 14.56 % by vol
Residual Sugar: Dry
|Cases Produced:||10,750 cases (21,500 six packs)|
|Cellaring:||Soft upon release, with structure to age comfortably for 6 to 8 years|
The 2010 J. Lohr Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon is darkly-colored with a red-purple hue. Ripe aromas of blueberry and black plum are complemented by a bouquet of hazelnut, dark chocolate and espresso coffee. Dense and voluminous in structure, this vintage finishes soft, leaving dark fruit on the palate.
-Steve Peck, Red Winemaker
Wonderful with roasted rosemary pork chops or an herbed beef filet.
WINE LIST DESCRIPTION
Ripe aromas of blueberry and black plum meld with a bouquet of
chocolate and hazelnut.