A cool climate prevailed in 2011, much like the 2010 season, which had been the coolest in a decade. Low yielding secondary shoots grew to replace frost damaged primary shoots after a defining hard frost hit the Paso Robles area on April 8th, 2011. Winter rainfall had provided sufficient soil moisture for rapid springtime growth of the vines after the setback of the early frost. We saw fewer clusters with larger berries, which pushed the wines toward a softer tannin profile. Vineyard yields were down considerably, averaging just 2.5 tons per acre in most blocks. Our standard practice was to stop irrigation of the Cabernet vines just after fruitset in early June and wait eight weeks or more until the soil ran out of moisture in early August. This prompted seeds to harden and brown early, and perhaps more importantly, shifted flavor in the berries from herbal to fruity in this distinctly cool 2011 vintage. This edition of J. Lohr Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon delivers on its promise to be dense and soft with a great fruit signature.
Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon is grown on a handful of select vineyard sites in the Paso Robles AVA. Blessed with long summer days of intense sunshine, our near 100°F daytime temperatures are followed with chilly, ocean-cooled nights in the 50s. These Cabernet vines are naturally stressed in the dry, 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, San Luis Obispo County, CA|
|Composition||90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot, 4% Malbec, 1% Syrah|
|Harvest Dates:||October 27 to November 5, 2011|
|Process:||Select-picked and sorted|
|Harvest Chemistries:||Brix 24.8°, total acidity 0.54 g/100ml, pH 3.60|
|Vinification:||Yeast: Lalvin ICV-D254 yeast was isolated by Dominique Delteil of the ICV from a Rhône Valley Syrah fermentation and is known for developing ripe fruit flavors and a big mid-palate mouthfeel with intense fruit concentration
Fermentation: Primary fermentation in open-top and conventional stainless steel tanks
Temperature: Peak fermentation at 92°F
Maceration: 7 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, very tight grain
Coopers: Demptos, Sylvain, Remond, DJ
|Post-Maturation:||Release date January 2014|
|Bottling Numbers:||pH: 3.55
Total Acidity: 0.68 g/100ml
Alcohol: 14.20 % by vol
Residual Sugar: 0.001 g/100ml (dry)
|Cases Produced:||17,500 cases (35,000 six packs)|
|Cellaring:||Rich intense fruit upon release, with structure to age comfortably for 5 to 7 years|
The 2011 J. Lohr Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon is darkly-colored with a red-purple hue. Varietal aromas of violet and ripe black plum are complemented by hazelnut, dark chocolate and espresso coffee. The dense but approachable mid-palate is followed by a round, intense fruit finish.
-Steve Peck, Red Winemaker
Delicious with rosemary-seasoned ribeye, roasted potatoes and asparagus.
WINE LIST DESCRIPTION
Aromas of violet, ripe black plum and hazelnut. Round, intense fruit finish.