2006 J. Lohr Hilltop Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

VINTAGE
The 2006 vintage for Hilltop is one of the most exciting in recent years! Although we saw a return to below average rainfall--and with, it smaller clusters and berries--the weather was ideal, with no significant heat events after veraison, with very mild temperatures throughout the entire harvest.  This allowed sugar, flavor and tannin ripeness to occur simultaneously, producing Cabernet Sauvignon with excellent color, generous black cherry and currant fruit flavors and supple structure. We taste the Cabernet fruit every couple of days in Hilltop, waiting for a doughy, berry pie flavor to develop with easily extractable color from the Cabernet skins.  Harvest commenced rather late, with hand picking of Block 55 and 56 starting on October 11th.


TECHNICAL DATA

 

Origin: Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo County
Composition 90.0% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4.6% Petit Verdot, 2.8% Merlot, 2.3% Cabernet Franc, 0.3% Malbec
Harvest Dates: October  11th through 20th, 2006
Process: Hand-harvested, hand-sorted, destemmed and crushed to small, open top, stainless steel fermenters
Harvest Chemistries: 25.7° Brix average, pH=3.83, Total acidity 0.34 g/100 ml
Vinification: Yeast: Lalvin D80 and Lalvin D21
Fermentation: Stainless steel fermented
Temperature:To 90°F
Extended Maceration: 14 days
Malo-Lactic: Inoculation and completion in stainless steel
Maturation: 20 months in 80% new French oak barrels
Barrel Type: 80% new French oak Bordeaux Château Ferré-style barrels (60.9 gallons), 20% second fill French oak barrels
Forest: Center of France
Coopers: Tonnellerie Sylvain, Libourne, Tonnellerie Vicard, Bordeaux Demptos, St. Caprais de Bordeaux, Tonnellerie  Bel Air, Bordeaux
Post-Maturation: Rack from barrels, fine and filter to bottle
Bottling Numbers: pH: 3.71
Total Acidity: 0.68g/100ml
Alcohol: 14.2% by volume
Residual Sugar: Dry

WINEMAKER'S COMMENTS
Very dark, red-purple in color with youthful hues, the 2006 J. Lohr  Hilltop Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon has bright enticing aromas of cherries and berries with a bouquet of anise, vanilla and toasted oak. The 2006 Hilltop is a complex wine with a supple, yet ample texture and balance, reminiscent of Bordeaux’s finest Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines with the structure to age for 10 to 15 years.

Jeff Meier, winemaker

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