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.
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.
|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|
|Fermentation:||Stainless steel fermented|
|Malolactic:||100% malolactic in tank
|Maturation:||Aged 14 months in oak barrels|
|Barrel type:||French and American oak,
|Total Acidity:||0.65 g/100 ml|
|Cellaring:||Delicious now, but has the structure
to age for up to 7 years.
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