2010 J. Lohr Estates Los Osos Merlot

VINTAGE
2010 was the coolest growing season Paso Robles has seen in a decade, bringing with it rainfall that was 50% above normal. While this cool and wet combination may have presented challenges for the late-ripening varieties, it was ideal for the early-ripening Merlot cultivar. After rapid vine growth in spring consumed most of the moisture held in the rainsoaked soils, we employed our latest thinking in vineyard irrigation strategy and applied absolutely zero irrigation for an 8 to 12 week period in our Merlot blocks between fruit set (mid-June) and veraison (August). This dramatic approach in the vineyard kept berry size small and promoted brown seeds earlier in the season than we had ever seen before. Absent were the agressive tannins that are common in a cool vintage. Instead, 2010 Los Osos Merlot is dense, mature and fruit-driven.


VINEYARDS
Traditionally, we harvest our estate-grown Merlot grapes across a range of sugar ripeness. The early picks usually capture the classic varietal definition of Merlot, while the fruit harvested later adds depth and intensity to the wine. Clone and rootstock combinations, along with variations in soil, add complexity to our Los Osos Merlot, as does the introduction of recently planted Italian clones. We grow our Merlot grapes in Nacimiento-Los Osos, Arbuckle-San Ysidro and Arbuckle- Positas complex soils in our vineyards in Paso Robles, where these well-drained but relatively poor soils have chalky or gravelly components.


TECHNICAL DATA

Apellation: Paso Robles AVA, San Luis Obispo County
Composition: 85% Merlot, 10% Malbec, 5% Petite Sirah
Harvest Dates:  September 24 - October 19st, 2010
Brix at Harvest: 25.2° Brix avg
Vinification:  
  Fermentation: Whole-berry fermentation in stainless steel tanks
  Malolactic: 100%
  Maturation: 12 months in barrel with 22% new oak
  Barrel type: American oak from Missouri forests, medium plus toast with toasted heads
Bottling Chemistries:
  pH: 3.69
  Total Acidity: 0.66 g/100ml
  Alcohol: 13.76% by volume
  Residual Sugar: 0.17 g/100ml
  Cellaring: Showing well upon release, with the potential to age up to five years

WINEMAKER'S COMMENTS
The 2009 J. Lohr Estates Los Osos Merlot has a mature red color with a raspberry hue. Black cherry and pomegranate aromas are accentuated by the high fraction of Malbec in this year’s blend. The toasty oak signature is reminiscent of hazelnut and dark chocolate. This soft red wine has a fine texture on the palate and finishes with a bright Rainier cherry fruit signature.
-Steve Peck, Red Winemaker

FOOD PAIRINGS
An excellent pairing for cheese tortellini, crab bisque or herb roasted chicken.

WINE LIST DESCRIPTION
Ripe fruit aromas of black cherry and pomegranate meld with a barrel signature of chocolate and coconut.

Price: $17.00 750ml

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