2014 J. Lohr Tower Road Petite Sirah
The third in a trio of great vintages for Paso Robles, 2014 is an especially dense and extracted vintage for Tower Road Petite Sirah. With less than half of the usual winter rainfall in the ground, spring growth rocketed as degree days racked up at a faster pace than we’ve seen in a decade. A somewhat warm veraison period at the end of July pushed tannin levels upward and led to the earliest picking dates on record for most of our vineyard blocks. Achieving sugar ripeness was never in question in this warm vintage, but we certainly benefitted from the J. Lohr “early water deficit” farming practices that hasten seed ripeness and achieve early phenolic maturity.
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 of the state and in Europe. Our ripening program requires that we apply netting to the vines in August to assure that birds don’t overfeed on this especially flavorful grape before harvest. Intense summer sun and very warm daytime temperatures in Paso Robles are balanced by the gentle afternoon breezes that creep in from the Monterey Bay to the north and from the Templeton Gap to the west. These winds 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:||95% Petite Sirah, 3% Syrah, 2% Grenache|
|Harvest Dates:||September 8, 9, and 28, 2014|
|Process:||Hand harvested into half-ton bins and gondolas|
|Harvest Numbers:||Brix 28.3°, total acidity 0.43 g/100ml, pH 3.65|
|Vinification:||Destemmed and fermented in 10 ton open top tanks. Cap management with light punchdowns
Yeast: Maurivin Platinum
Fermentation: Whole berries
Temperature: Moderate temperatures to reduce seed tannin extraction
Maceration: 2-day cold soak with a short, 3-day fermentation and early pressing
Malolactic: 100% malolactic in barrels through December and January
Maturation: 16 months barrel age
Barrel Type: 25 liter French oak Burgundy export barrels, 80% new
Forests: Rive Droit and a blend of Five Forests
Coopers: Vallaurine and Marcel Cadet
|Post-Maturation:||Released 5 months after bottling|
|Bottling Numbers:||pH: 3.69
Total Acidity: 0.55g/100ml
Alcohol: 14.6% by volume
Res. Sugar: 0.17 g/100 ml
Cases Produced: 9,634 six-bottle cases
Cellaring: This dense and delicious wine will open up early with a splash-decant, and should develop in the bottle for up to 8 years.
Inviting aromas of blackberry and a bouquet of hazelnut from French oak aging are followed by juicy flavors of ollalieberry on the palate. Petite Sirah is known for bold astringency and the 2014 Tower Road doesn’t disappoint.
—Steve Peck, red winemaker
Pairs well with aromatic herbs and pan-seared meat dishes such as rosemary lamb chops with roasted fennel.
Price: $35.00 750ml
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