2012 J. Lohr Estates Los Osos Merlot

VINTAGE
Every vintage has its own personality; a unique history of climatic experience that shapes the flavor of the wine we taste in our glass. 2012 had been preceded by two of the coldest vintages in a decade and was a welcomed proposition for vintners and growers in the Paso Robles region. Preseason rainfall was a bit on the shy side at 60% of normal, with a nice wet storm arriving at budbreak in the first week of April that brought welcome moisture for growth and suppressed chances of spring frost. Warm springtime conditions brought rapid shoot growth, and irrigation was stopped in our vineyards in mid-June to promote seed ripening and push the classic Merlot red fruit charactistics. A period of triple digit hot temperatures gave definition to the vintage in mid-August, toward the end of veraison. We believe this gave a general uptrend of tannin structure to the vintage as a whole. Ideal warm and dry conditions ushered in the 2012 Los Osos Merlot crop in a tight, 10-day harvesting window at the end of September in the 25-26° brix range.


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 welldrained but relatively poor soils have chalky or gravelly components.


TECHNICAL DATA

Apellation: Paso Robles AVA, San Luis Obispo County, California
Composition: 87% Merlot, 12% Malbec, 1% Petit Verdot
Harvest Dates:  September 20th - October 2nd, 2012
Brix at Harvest: 25.6° 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: 3.7
  Total Acidity: 0.55 g/100ml
  Alcohol: 13.93% by volume
  Residual Sugar: 0.19 g/100ml
  Cellaring: Showing well upon release, with the potential to age up to five years

WINEMAKER'S COMMENTS
The 2012 J. Lohr Estates Los Osos Merlot presents a mature red color with a raspberry hue. Red fruit aromas of plum and pomegranate are integrated with a barrel signature of dark chocolate and baking spice. Whole berry fermentation with a generous use of Malbec as a blender accentuates the brighter fruit tones of Merlot and leaves ripe, soft tannins on the palate.
-Steve Peck, red winemaker

FOOD PAIRINGS
An excellent pairing for cheese tortellini or herb-roasted chicken.

WINE LIST DESCRIPTION
Blended with Malbec, this Merlot shows plum and pomegranate highlights integrated with a dark chocolate barrel signature.

Price: $15.00 750ml

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