2008 J. Lohr Cuvée St. E

The inspiration for our J. Lohr Cuvée St. E comes from the Grand Cru wines of St. Emilion from the Right Bank of Bordeaux. These memorable wines are composed primarily from Cabernet Franc and Merlot with touches of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Petit Verdot. We are given the freedom to emulate these great wines without the restrictions of varietal percentages, instead keenly focusing on the texture and complexity of the blend that nature delivers with each vintage.

The 2008 growing season presented signicant challenges on our ranch, as well as in vineyards across California. Spring and autumn frosts coupled with heat spikes, which impacted flowering and maturation, claimed much of the prized crop. Vineyard yields were generally half of normal levels in Paso Robles, averaging under 3 tons per acre. 2008 was the second consecutive vintage of drought in the area, which limited vine growth and reduced cluster and berry size significantly. The result was high-extract, intensely flavored wines. This vintage of Cuvée St. E reached 28° Brix and yielded a wine with a rich fruit signature and a smooth, dense tannin profile.


Appellation: Paso Robles
Composition (Blend):  43% Cabernet Franc (Clone 214), 43% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Malbec, 4% Petit Verdot
Harvest Dates:  October 20-21, 2008
Harvest Process:  Select vines handpicked to half-ton bins
Harvest Chemistries:  Brix 26.2°, pH 3.8, total acidity 0.38g/100ml
Vinification: Yeast: Lallemand 43
  Fermentation: Destemmed and berry sorted on Mistral system; crushed fruit transferred to 5-ton open-top fermentors
  Temperature: Cold soak 2 days, followed by fermentation to 90°F peak temperature
  Maceration: 9 days skin contact
  Malolactic: 100% in barrels
  Mauration: 21 months in barrel


Barrel Type: Thin-stave Chateau Ferrier
French oak, 50% new
  Forests: Center of France
  Coopers: Tonnelerie Bel Air and Marcel Cadet
  Bottle Aging: 1 year+ prior to release
Bottling Numbers: pH: 3.62
Total Acidity: 0.696g/100ml
  Alcohol: 14.39% by volume
  Residual Sugar: Dry
  Cellaring: Delicious now, but has the structure to age for 10 to 15 years
  Cases Produced: 399 cases

This wine is dark red-purple in color with aromas of cassis, blueberry and violet. A bouquet of crème brûlée comes from twenty-one months of aging in French oak barrels. The wine displays the true varietal nature of Cabernet Franc, with supple, sweet tannins and mid to rear structure from both the fruit and maturation time. Palate weight is quite dense due to the generous contribution of Cabernet Sauvignon in this year’s blend. On release, this wine will already have one year of bottle age but will develop additional complexity for years to come.
-Steve Peck, Red Winemaker

Cuvée St. E pairs well with a wide variety of Mediterranean foods, including pumpkin ravioli and beef carpaccio.

Dark red-purple in color with aromas of cassis, blueberry and violet.