2010 J. Lohr Tower Road Petite Sirah
2010 was the coolest vintage Paso Robles has seen in a decade. With winter rainfall nearly 50% above normal, and very cool summer temperatures, there were concerns that Petite Sirah may not get fully ripe before late season rains set in. This cool vintage provided an ideal challenge for our newest evolution in vineyard irrigation strategy, which involves stopping irrigation in mid-June, just after fruitset. With weekly measurements of vine water status, we determined precisely when soil profiles had dried out and were in need of watering. We were expecting that a 3 to 5 week “dry-down” would be possible, but were impressed that most of our deep rooted vines did not experience water stress until a full 2 months had passed without irrigation. This dramatic approach in our growing strategy forced vines from their vegetative growth stage to a reproductive stage early in the season. This hastened seed maturity and the dramatic flavor development in this vintage of Tower Road Petite Sirah.
In the vineyards surrounding Tower Road, in the Estrella and San Miguel districts of Paso Robles, our Petite Sirah thrives on the well-drained yet heavier clay soils of the area. The rarity of autumn rains in Paso Robles allows this tight-clustered variety to reach full maturity almost every year, without the risk of bunch-rot that exists in damper regions around the state. Despite the intense and relentless summer sun and very warm days, the gentle afternoon breezes that creep in from Monterey County to the north and the Templeton Gap to the southwest cool the area by as much as fifty degrees by early morning, preserving the acidity and bright fruit character of our Petite Sirah.
|Origin:||Paso Robles AVA, San Luis Obispo County, California|
|Composition:||100% Petite Sirah|
|Harvest Dates:||October 2nd, 8th, and 21st, 2010|
|Process:||Hand-picked to half ton bins|
|Harvest Numbers:||25.1° Brix average, 3.51 pH, 0.59 g/100 ml total acidity|
|Vinification:||Destemmed and fermented in 10 ton open top tanks. Cap management with light punchdowns
Yeast: Lallemand DV80 yeast
Fermentation: Whole-berry fermentation in open-top and automated pumpover tanks
Maloactic: 100% malolactic with Vinifloral Oenos in barrel
Temperature: MPeak temperature of 80° F
Maceration: 1 day soak prior to inoculation, with 6 days total maceration
Malolactic: 100% malolactic with Viniflora Oenos
Maturation: 14 months in barrels
Barrel Type: 40% new French oak
Forests: Blend of five forests
Coopers: Marcel Cadet, Bel Air, Vallaurine
|Post-Maturation:||Racked from barrels and lightly fined with isinglas and gelatin|
|Bottling Numbers:||pH: 3.83
Total Acidity: 0.61g/100ml
Alcohol: 15.08% by volume
Res. Sugar: 0.01 g/100 ml
Cases Produced: 3,054 six-bottle cases
Cellaring: This dense wine will open up early with a splash-decant, and should develop in the bottle for up to 10 years.
Tower Road Petite Sirah is a deeply colored wine that lays nearly opaque in the glass, with just a youthful ring of magenta to brighten its edges. The French oak bouquet of browned butter and toasted hazelnut frames the ripe blackberry aromas indicative of Petite Sirah varietal character. A rich and voluminous attack leaves black fruit and a touch of fine talc on the palate.
—Steve Peck, red winemaker
This wine pairs well with pan-seared meat dishes with aromatic herbs, such as rosemary lamb chops with roasted fennel.
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