J. Lohr Vineyard Series

2012 J. Lohr Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon

Every vintage has its own personality; a unique history of climatic experience that shapes the flavor of the wine we taste in the glass. 2012 was preceded by two of the coldest vintages in a decade and was welcomed with open arms in the Paso Robles region as a return to the norm. Preseason rainfall was a bit on the shy side at 60% of normal, with a nice wet storm arriving at budbreak the first week of April. This rain brought welcome moisture for growth and suppressed chances of a spring frost. We now know that 2012 was the first of three years of drought in California and the Paso Robles area. Our typically warm springtime conditions brought rapid shoot growth, and irrigation was stopped in our vineyards in mid-June to promote seed ripening and to prevent the development of undesirable green, herbal characteristics in the fruit. A period of triple-digit temperatures added definition to the vintage in mid-August toward the end of veraison. That heat spike seemed to give the vintage an uptrend of tannin structure for Cabernet Sauvignon. Ideal warm and dry September weather pushed us to full ripeness, with harvesting for Hilltop Cabernet beginning on October 1st.

Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon is grown on a handful of select vineyard sites in the Paso Robles AVA. Blessed with long summer days of intense sunshine, our near 100°F daytime temperatures are followed with chilly, ocean-cooled nights in the 50s. These Cabernet vines are naturally stressed in the dry, often very gravelly, and sometimes lime shale-laden soils. Water is at a premium in these vineyards, enabling the viticulturist to fine-tune irrigation, producing the darkest fruit with resolved tannins year after year.


Appellation: Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo County, CA
Composition 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot, 1% Malbec
Harvest Dates: October 1st to 22nd, 2012
Process: Select-picked and sorted
Harvest Chemistries: Brix 25.6°, total acidity 0.42 g/100ml, pH 3.70
Vinification: Yeast: Lalvin ICV-D254 yeast was isolated by Dominique Delteil of the ICV from a Rhône Valley Syrah fermentation and is known for developing ripe fruit flavors and a big mid-palate mouthfeel with intense fruit concentration
Fermentation:  Primary fermentation in open-top and conventional stainless steel tanks
Temperature: Peak fermentation at 92°F
Maceration: 7 days on skins
Malolactic: Malolatic complete with Viniflora Oenos
Maturation: 18 months in 225 liter French oak barrels, 60% new
Barrel Type: French oak, thick stave, very tight grain
Coopers: Demptos, Sylvain, Marcel Cadet
Post-Maturation: Bottled May 2014
Bottling Numbers: pH: 3.68
Total Acidity: 0.62 g/100ml
Alcohol: 14.3 % by vol
Residual Sugar: 0.1 g/100ml (dry)
Cases Produced: 16,951 (33,902 six-packs)
Cellaring: Rich intense fruit upon release, with structure to age comfortably for 5 to 7 years

The 2012 J. Lohr Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon is darkly-colored with a red-purple hue. Varietal fruit aromas of ripe black plum and violet are complemented by the French oak barrel signature of hazelnut and dark chocolate. A dense but approachable mid-palate is followed by round, intense fruit on the finish.
—Steve Peck, winemaker

Delicious with rosemary-seasoned ribeye and garlic roasted potatoes with parsnips and fennel.

Ripe black plum, violet, hazelnut and dark chocolate aromas. Intense fruit on the finish. 

Price: $35.00 750ml

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2012 J. Lohr Carol’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

Seven years ago, J. Lohr began the Touching Lives program in memory of Carol Waldorf Lohr, late wife of Founder Jerry Lohr. In 2008, Carol passed away unexpectedly due to complications related to breast cancer.

In 2014, to touch the lives of women and their families, J. Lohr is continuing its partnership with NBCF, a relationship that has provided over 4,000 mammograms to women who would otherwise be unable to afford them. This is our way of not only honoring the legacy of Carol Lohr, but is also our commitment to curtailing the impact of breast cancer on the lives of other families. While also celebrating J. Lohr’s 40th anniversary this year as family winemakers, we are happy to report that your support has helped us exceed our goal! But we still need your help to spread the word about early detection as we continue to champion our efforts to raise awareness. J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines donates $2 to the National Breast Cancer Foundation for every bottle of J. Lohr Carol’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon or Sauvignon Blanc purchased.

Whether honoring a 40-year anniversary or a woman’s 40th birthday, let’s increase our chances of celebrating many more life-affirming milestones by taking appropriate action. Start today by creating your own Early Detection Plan at earlydetectionplan.org and share this tool with the women you love.

2012 saw a return to warmer temperatures compared to the unusually cool 2010 and 2011 growing seasons. Our clone 337 Cabernet Sauvignon responded well to the warm temperatures and abundant sunlight, with the driest soils in the vineyard producing the darkest colored fruit and the most intensely-flavored wine. Regular berry sampling and tasting and weekly monitoring of anthocyanin and tannin concentrations in the fruit directed our decision to harvest Cabernet starting the 11th of October, while the Petit Verdot was picked a week later, capturing big, ripe fruit character in 2012.

Carol’s Vineyard lies in northern St. Helena, comprised of 16.4 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon (Clone 337 on 3309 rootstock) and 4.3 acres of Petit Verdot (Clone 400 on 3309 rootstock). The well-drained, gravelly, sandy loam soil and Bordeaux-like climate of the Napa Valley is ideally suited to produce luxury-quality Cabernet fruit.


Appellation: St. Helena, Napa Valley, California
Composition: 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Petit Verdot, 3% Malbec
Harvest Dates: October 11th and 12th, 2012
Process: Hand-picked into half-ton bins and berry-sorted on Vaucher Beguet Mistral system
Harvest Chemistries: 25.6° Brix, total acidity 0.47g/100ml, pH 3.71
Vinification: Yeast: Lallenand 43
Fermentation: 10 ton open-top tanks using delestage and punchdowns
Temperature: Peak to 95°F cap temperature
Maceration: Early inoculation followed by 13 days fermentation on skins
Malolactic: 100% malolactic in barrels
Maturation: 16 months in French oak
barrels - 60% new
Barrel Type: 60 gallon Bordeaux export
Forests: Center of France
Coopers: Saury, Demptos, Bel Air
Post-Maturation: Aged 9 months prior to release
Bottling Numbers: pH: 3.55
Total Acidity: 0.6g/l00ml
Alcohol: 14.6% by volume
Residual Sugar: 0.07 g/100ml
Cases Produced: 3,041 six-pack cases
Cellaring: Approachable tannins at release, with an 8-year-plus aging aptitude

The 2012 Carol’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon offers concentrated red fruit with violet and hazelnut aromas, followed by a rich and balanced palate structure. The inclusion of Petit Verdot brings a lengthy blue fruit finish.
—Steve Peck, red winemaker

Excellent with grilled rib-eye steak with rosemary and shallots, or a roasted pork loin with porcini mushrooms and fennel.

Price: $40.00 750ml

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Slow Roasted Duck Legs

Recipe courtesy of Frances Wilson

4 Duck Legs (Thigh And Drumstick)
1 Tbs Sea Salt Or Kosher Salt
10 Sprigs Of Thyme
¼ Tsp Ground Nutmeg
¼ Tsp Ground Allspice
2 Cloves Garlic, Peeled And Halved Lengthwise
2 Bay Leaves
Score the skin on the duck legs, being careful not to cut into the meat. Mix the salt, thyme, nutmeg, and allspice in a baking dish that will fit the duck legs snugly, with no room around them. Rub the spice mixture all over the duck legs. Place the garlic and bay leaves on the bottom of the baking dish and lay the duck legs, flesh-side down, on top of them, making sure the garlic cloves are completely buried beneath. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, or overnight.
To cook the duck, wipe the duck gently with a paper towel to remove excess salt, then put the duck back in the dish, skin-side up. Put it in a cold oven. Turn the oven on to 300°F. Bake the duck thighs for 2½ hours, taking them out during baking once or twice and basting them with any duck fat pooling around them. To finish the duck, increase the oven temperature to 375°F and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the skin is deeply browned and very crispy.

Liberty Duck Breast With Dried Cranberry - Apple Bread Salad

Recipe courtesy of Malcolm Jessop

8 Boneless Duck Breasts
4 Cups J. Lohr Pinot Noir
1 Cup Dried Cranberries
1 Cup Olive Oil Or Duck Fat
8 Cups French Bread Cubes
1 Cup Pecans, Toasted And Chopped
2 Tbs Flat Leaf Parsley, Chopped
2 Tsp Fresh Thyme, Chopped
Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper
3 Braeburn Or Pippin Apples, Peeled, Cored And Diced
1 Cup Brown Chicken Stock
Trim the duck breasts, score the skin and set aside. Combine the wine and the cranberries in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil over a medium high heat. Remove from the heat and let sit for 20 minutes, until the berries are plump and moist. While the berries are sitting, heat the olive oil or duck fat in a large wide sauté pan over high heat. Add the bread and toss to coat evenly with the olive oil. Cook until lightly browned on all sides, stirring occasionally to prevent
burning. Transfer to a large bowl. Drain the cranberries over a small saucepan to catch the wine.

Duck Confit

Recipe courtesy of Malcolm Jessop

3 Tbs Coarse Salt
4 Cloves Garlic, Chopped
1 Shallot, Peeled And Sliced
6 Sprigs Thyme
2 Bay Leaves, Crumbled
Coarsely Ground Black Pepper
4 Duck Legs With Thighs
About 4 Cups Duck Fat
Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of salt in the bottom of a dish or plastic container large enough to hold the duck pieces in a single layer. Evenly scatter half the garlic, shallots, bay leaves, and thyme in the container. Arrange the duck, skin-side up, over the salt mixture, then sprinkle with the remaining salt, garlic, shallots, bay leaves, thyme and a little pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 days. Preheat the oven to 225°F. Melt the duck fat in a small saucepan. Wash the salt and seasonings from the duck, and pat dry. Arrange the duck pieces in a single snug layer in a high-sided baking dish or oven-proof saucepan. Pour the melted fat over the duck (the duck pieces should be covered by fat) and place the confit in the oven. Cook the confit slowly at a very slow simmer — just an occasional bubble — until the duck is tender and can be easily pulled from the bone, 2-3 hours. Remove the confit from the oven. Cool and store the duck in the fat. (The confit will keep in the refrigerator for several weeks.)

2012 J. Lohr Highlands Bench Pinot Noir

2012 continued the trend of very cool consecutive years, which began two years earlier. As such, 2012 began with even colder winter and early spring temperatures than 2011. Fortunately, unlike 2010 and 2011, the Santa Lucia Highlands were blessed with favorable weather from bloom to fruit-set, and dry weather from April through October, ensuring a healthy crop and decreased mildew pressure. The vintage appeared to be trending late until a short but substantial heat wave from September 30th through October 2nd pushed our 2012 Pinot Noir blocks to extreme ripeness overnight. Hand harvesting crews, working under chilly night time temperatures, delivered the cold fruit to the winery in excellent condition for sorting and fermentation. Our best lots from Pommard 4, Dijon 777 and Swan clones were selected for the 2012 blend, which is tasting exceptional at release. 

Our 2012 Highlands Bench Pinot Noir comes from the Escolle Road Vineyard in the Santa Lucia Highlands appellation of Monterey. We were invited to partner with a group of friends - Gary Caraccioli and the Nunes and Hiyashi families - in 2006 to establish a Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vineyard on the Rianda family property. We participated in soil evaluation, vineyard layout and clone and rootstock selection (clones selected were Dijon origin 777, 115 and 828, as well as Pommard 4 and Joseph Swan), ultimately choosing the highest elevations and most gravelly soils for Pinot Noir planting. 


Appellation: Santa Lucia Highlands,
Monterey County
Composition 100% Pinot Noir
Harvest Dates: October 4th through 6th, 2012
Process: Hand-picked into half-ton
bins. Destemmed and berry sorted on Mistral System
Harvest Chemistries: 26.9° Brix, pH 3.45,
0.87g/100ml total acidity
Vinification: Yeast: RC-212 and Assmanshausen
Fermentation: Cold-soaked, then fermented in 10-ton open-top tanks with punch downs twice daily
Malolactic: 100% malolactic with Vinifloral Oenos in barrel
Stirring: Barrels stirred every 2 weeks through malolactic completion in February
Post-Stirring: Monthly barrel topping till
Maturation: Aged in barrel for 9 months
Barrel Type: 228-liter Burgundy barrels, 60% new
Forest: Allier and Bertrange
Coopers: Sirugue and Francois Frères
Post-Maturation: 1 year bottle age prior to
Bottling Chemistries: pH: 3.80
Total Acidity: 0.59 g/100ml
Alcohol: 15.0 % by vol
Residual Sugar: 0.001 g/100 ml
Cases Produced: 2,089 cases (4,178 six-packs)
Cellaring: This wine has the structure to age 5 to 7 years, with the greatest fruit evolution in the early years

Wild strawberry, loganberry, beeswax and hazelnut are embroiled in the dark, fuchsia-colored wine. Rich red fruit on the attack with round body and soft powdery talc in the mid-palate resonates with bright fruit on the finish - a fine example of Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir.
-Steve Peck, red winemaker
Delicious with beef carpaccio and pecorino, oysters on the half shell or French onion soup.
Resonating fruit characters of wild strawberry and loganberry with notes of beeswax and hazelnut.

Price: $35.00 750ml

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Layered Two Potato & Fennel Gratin

recipe courtesy of Lisa Jones and Jim Subject of Cahoots  

This is a delicious combination of flavors, great year round but would be a good fit for the Holidays. Perfect with a holiday ham and our 40th Anniversary Red Wine!

Serves 10-12


  • 2 large leeks, diced and washed
  • 2 small fennel bulbs, cut in half, cores removed and thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp good quality olive oil
  • ½ pound speck ham, 1/4” dice
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 ½ cups heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 2 ½ pounds sweet potatoes, and 2 medium, peeled
  • 2 ½ pounds Yukon gold or other golf fleshed potato, no need to peel
  • ½ pound Gruyere cheese or other good quality Swiss style cheese


Preheat oven to 350 F.

1. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, melt the butter together with the olive oil. Add the leeks, fennel, speck ham and garlic, cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Add the cream and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 2-3 minutes, until it starts to thicken. Add the thyme, salt and pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.

3. Slice the sweet potatoes about 1/8” to 1/4” thick, set aside. Repeat with the gold potatoes, keep them separate.

4. Butter the inside of a 13” x 9” x 2” baking dish. Arrange one layer of sweet potatoes, overlapping at the half of each slice, on the bottom of the baking dish. Repeat with a layer of gold potatoes.

5. Spread 3/4 cup of the cream mixture over the potatoes. Repeat potato layers, first sweet potatoes, then gold potatoes, and 1 cup of cream mixture. Repeat with the remaining potatoes. Pour the rest of the cream mixture over the top, spreading it evenly, submerging all potatoes. Top with cheese, cover loosely with foil and bake for about 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 30-40 minutes. Test for doneness. Let rest for 10 minutes. Serve.

2012 J. Lohr Late Harvest White Riesling

2012 continued the trend of very cool years, which began in 2010. As such, 2012 started with even colder winter–and earlier spring– temperatures than 2011. Fortunately, unlike 2010 and 2011, the Arroyo Seco region was blessed with favorable weather from bloom to fruit-set, and dry weather from April through October. The cool, dry weather allowed for the perfect formation of Botrytis, or the “Noble Rot”. With no rain or late season humidity, the Botrytis-infected grapes shriveled gradually, ensuring ideal sugar and flavor concentration, with no grey rot or splitting of the grapes. On October 25th, our well-trained harvest crew hand-picked the vineyard, selecting only those clusters with ideal amounts of Noble Rot. From these ideal clusters, a sorting crew removed any green or overly botrysized berries, leaving only the best fruit. This resulted in a very low yield with extremely high quality.

Our Bay Mist White Riesling vineyards lie just north of Cypress Avenue in the heart of our original Greenfield vineyard plantings in the Arroyo Seco appellation. A portion of the vines currently in this vineyard were our first White Riesling vines, planted in 1972 by Jerry Lohr. The remainder were planted in 1995. The soils are largely Chualar loam, underlain by stones deposited by the Arroyo Seco river for over a millennium. The winds of the Salinas Valley are particularly intense in this area due to its position at the beginning of an elevated plateau just to the north.


Appellation: Arroyo Seco AVA, Monterey County, CA
Composition: 100% White Riesling
Harvest Date: October 25, 2012
Process: Hand-harvested in early morning, each cluster trimmed of unwanted berries, destemmed and crushed into press for 18 hours of skin contact.
Harvest Chemistries: 37.2° Brix, total acidity 0.79 g/100ml, pH 3.06
Vinification: Yeast: VL1
Fermentation: In 55 gallon stainless steel barrels
Temperature: 58°F
In 55 gallon stainless steel barrels with lees stirring every 2 weeks
pH at Bottling: 3.20
Total Acidity: 0.97 g/100ml
Alcohol: 13.89% by volume
Residual Sugar: 13.59 g/100 ml
Cases Produced: 277 (in 375ml bottles)
Cellaring: Delicious now, but can be cellared for 10 to 15 years

This wine is the result of our meticulous selection of only the best Botrytis-affected berries. Its deep golden hues, firm acidity and layers of apricot, citrus oil and honeysuckle are reminiscent of the great Trockenbeerenauslese wines of Germany. The natural sweetness is balanced by both the acidity and palate structure.
-Jeff Meier, Winemaker

Pairs well with blue cheeses, nuts, apple tart or tropical fruit desserts.

Price: $25.00 375ml

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2012 J. Lohr Fog’s Reach Pinot Noir

2012 continued the trend of very cool consecutive years, which began two years earlier. As such, 2012 began with even colder winter--and earlier spring temperatures- -than 2011. Fortunately, unlike 2010 and 2011, the Arroyo Seco appellation was blessed with favorable weather from bloom to fruit-set, and dry weather from April through October, ensuring a healthy crop and decreased mildew pressure. The vintage appeared to be trending late until a short but substantial heat wave from September 30th through October 2nd pushed our 2012 Pinot Noir crop to extreme ripeness. Hand-harvesting crews, working under chilly night time temperatures, delivered the cold fruit to the winery in excellent condition for sorting and fermentation. Dijon clone 667 represents about 60% of the Fog’s Reach blend in 2012, giving it great fruit on the palate.

Our Pinot Noir vineyard resides in the cool and windy enclave of the Arroyo Seco appellation of Monterey County. Comprised of multiple Dijon selections of Pinot Noir clones (115, 667, 777), as well as Pommard 4, the vines are grown on extremely well-drained, loamy sand and gravelly loam soils intermixed and underlain by large potato-sized cobblestones. The unique combination of soil, climate and viticulture produces deeply-colored Pinot Noir with elegantly refined structure and flavor.


Appellation: Arroyo Seco AVA, Monterey County, CA
Composition: 100% Pinot Noir
Harvest Dates: October 5th to 18th, 2012
Process: Night harvested by hand under lights into half-ton bins. Destemmed and sorted on Vaucher Beguet sorting table before transferring to six and twelve ton open-top stainless steel fermenters.
Harvest Numbers: 27.2° Brix, total acidity 0.83 g/100ml, pH 3.51

Yeast: RC212 and Assmanshausen
Fermentation: Stainless steel fermented in open-top tanks with maual punchdown of cap
Temperature: 90°F peak fermentation temperature
Maceration: 8 days on average
Malolactic: Inoculation in stainless steel and completion in French oak barrels
Maturation: Aged 8 month in French oak barrels; 50% new
Barrel Type: French/Burgundy barrels, medium to heavy toast
Forests: Predominantly Bertrange and Allier
Coopers: François Frères and Dargaud et Jaegle

Post-Maturation: Bulldog racked from barrels, blended lots, bottled July 2013
Bottling Numbers: pH: 3.75
Total Acidity: 0.59 g/100ml
Alcohol: 14.57% by volume
Res. Sugar: 0.001 g/100 ml (dry)
Cases Produced: 3,340 (6,680 six-packs)
Cellaring: 5 to 7 year aging potential with the greatest evolution of complex aromas within the first year in bottle

Youthful and deep red in color, the 2012 Fog’s Reach Pinot Noir displays strawberry, fennel and white tea aromas with a subtle bouquet of toasted puffed pastry. The high fraction of Dijon clone 667 in the blend delivers an abundance of complex red fruit to the palate, with sandalwood on the finish.
-Steve Peck, red winemaker

Try with pan-seared sesame tuna, grilled portabella mushrooms or your favorite charcuterie.

Aromas of strawberry and white tea finish with sandalwood and red fruits on the palate.

Price: $35.00 750ml

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2012 J. Lohr Highlands Bench Chardonnay

The 2012 Santa Lucia Highlands vintage continued the trend of cool years, which began in 2010. 2012 began with colder than average winter and early spring temperatures, but saw cool to moderate temperatures and dry weather from June through the end of September. With no rain events and favorable weather during the ripening period, we were able to let the grapes reach optimal maturity. A short heat wave on October 1st and 2nd pushed the grapes over the finish line to close out an outstanding vintage at the Escolle Road Vineyard.

2012 J. Lohr Highlands Bench Chardonnay comes from the Escolle Road Vineyard, just west of the town of Gonzales in the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA of Monterey. We were invited to partner with a group of friends - Gary Caraccioli, the Nunes and Hiyashi families - in 2006, to establish a Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vineyard on Rianda family property. We participated in soil evaluation, vineyard layout and clone and rootstock selection, ultimately choosing the sandiest soils for Chardonnay planting. The clones selected were a Wente clone from Larry Hyde’s vineyard in Carneros, and a Robert Young selection from Sonoma County - both shy bearing, but very flavorful. The close proximity to Monterey Bay, the eastern slope and aspect, and the elevation above the Salinas Valley floor provide a cool, sunny, ideal environment for growing intensely-flavored Burgundian varietals.


Appellation: Santa Lucia Highlands AVA, Monterey County, CA
Composition 100% Chardonnay
Harvest Dates: October 5 through 11, 2012
Harvest Process: Hand-harvested at night, vineyard-pressed to 0.8 bars and settled
Harvest Chemistries: 26.0° Brix, total acidity 0.97 g/100ml, pH 3.26
Vinification: Yeast: Native fermentation with Frootzen added
Fermentation: In barrel for an average of 16 days
Malolactic: Inoculated each barrel with Christian Hansen Vinaflora Oenos October 2012. Completed malolactic fermentation end of November/beginning of December 2012.
Stirring: Weekly stirring of each barrel, starting November 2012 until June 2013 (during malolactic fermentation and seven months post)
Post-Stirring: Monthly topping up of barrels with free sulfur dioxide and oxygen monitoring
Maturation: Aged in barrel sur lie for 18 months in 50.8% new oak
Barrel Type: French oak, very tight grain
Forest: Mixed
Coopers: Mostly Francois Frères and Marcel Cadet
Bottling Chemistries: pH: 3.64
Total Acidity: 0.65 g/100ml
Alcohol: 14.09% by volume
Residual Sugar: 0.42 g/100ml
  Cases Produced: 732 (1,464 six-packs)
  Cellaring: Delicious now, but will gain complexity in the bottle through 2018.

Bright yellow hues with aromas of mango, papaya, strawberry and violets. Rich flavors of tropical fruit, vanilla, citrus, toasted oak and minerality frame this weighty Chardonnay.
Karl Antink, white winemaker

Pair with lemon-oregano chicken, roasted hen with spring vegetables, apple walnut salad or seared scallops.

Price: $25.00 750ml

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