Just In: Latest Accolades and Reviews
Jun 18, 2019
J. Lohr continues to get more than its share of rave reviews and press coverage. Congratulations to our stellar vineyards and winemaking teams for these great mentions!
June 18, 2019
Writing Its Own History: The Burgeoning Region of Paso Robles Hosts its Fifth Annual CAB Camp
Michelle Ball, SOMM Journal, June/July 2019
In many ways, Paso Robles is synonymous with Cabernet Sauvignon: According to Amanda Wittstrom- Higgins,Vice President of Operations for Ancient Peaks Winery, the variety represents “close to 50% of what’s planted in the region.” “If you look at what’s been planted here in the last ve years, the majority of the investment is Cabernet Sauvignon,” she adds.
Not only is this grape successful with consumers worldwide, it’s uniquely well suited to this area. Paso Robles is often identified primarily by its high temperatures, which can reach the triple digits during the summer months, but it’s also known for its vast diurnal swings: A 40- to 50-degree difference be- tween daytime and nighttime temperatures is common due to the region’s coastal proximity. These conditions, in addition to the abundant presence of calcareous soils, help Paso Robles wines retain not only acidity and structure but depth and concentration.
According to the 2017 California Grape Acreage Report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Bordeaux varieties boast roughly 57% of all plantings throughout Paso Robles’ 11 sub-appellations. In celebration of these wines, the Paso Robles CAB (Cabernet and Bordeaux) Collective recently hosted its fifth annual CAB Camp co-sponsored by The SOMM Journal.This year, close to 40 sommeliers and wine buyers from across the country attended the immersive, three-day experience.
Wisps of clouds painted the sunny sky as our group of somms arrived at the exquisite Allegretto Vineyard Resort, our home base for the course of the camp. After going over a brief synopsis of the region, we were whisked away to our first stop just a few miles east of the hotel.Winding through the backroads and lush landscape, we made our way to Hilltop Vineyard, a site with special significance for J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines.
After we took our seats on covered haystacks shaded by an old oak tree at the top of the property, we were greeted by co-owner Cynthia Lohr, who also serves as the family company’s Trade and Brand Advocate.“We love Paso Robles for its Bordeaux varieties,” Lohr told us. “Family, place, and craft—that’s what we’re all about.” J. Lohr farms more than 3,000 acres of estate vines dispersed throughout five of Paso Robles’ sub-appellations. As a result, the winery can offer its J. Lohr Estates Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon—often consumers’ introduction to the region—at an extreme value.
The site of one of J. Lohr’s rst plantings in 1988, Hilltop Vineyard is the namesake of the Hilltop Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.We tasted through a sampling of the winery’s portfolio, including a barrel sample of Saint-Macaire, an obscure Bordeaux variety used for blending. It was nearly everyone’s first experience with the grape, which produced an expression reminiscent of Malbec with deep color, concentration, and soft tannins.
May 22, 2019
Connoisseurs’ Guide to California Wine
April 2019, Steve Eliot
“As we have commented over the past several years, Cabernet Franc is finding new life in California. Its evolution away from tough and ungainly wines continues, and a widening field of styles running from sturdy and youthfully tannic to fairly refined now awaits the consumer looking to expand their vinous perspectives with particularly successful efforts from J. Lohr, Terra Valentine and The Vineyard House earning high honors this month.”
2015 J. Lohr Cuvée St. E – 90 Points
2015 J. Lohr Cuvée PAU – 90 Points
The Tasting Panel
April 2019, Meridith May
2015 J. Lohr Cuvée St. E – 96 Points
2015 J. Lohr Cuvée POM – 96 Points
April 2019, Nick Ponomareff
2015 J. Lohr Cuvée POM – 91 Points
March 2019, Owen Bargreen
2015 J. Lohr Cuvée PAU – 92 Points
2015 J. Lohr Cuvée POM – 92 Points
2015 J. Lohr Cuvée St. E – 91 Points
April 2, 2019
“The Restaurant Top 50
30th Annual Restaurant Poll
Wine & Spirits, April 2019
“Some wines create buzz. Some simply sell without any effort: Guests don’t bother to namecheck those wines on their Instagram feed, or to confer with a sommelier before calling for a bottle.
Those are the wines that top the W&S Restaurant Top 50, the most popular wines in America’s favorite restaurants.
For 30 years, we’ve asked wine directors to mine their sales data for the last quarter of the year and report on their top-selling bottles; we then count the number of mentions for each wine reported on their top-ten lists, as well as the rank; these 50 wines accrued the greatest number of mentions overall. The accompanying price is the average wine-list price for all the bottlings our respondents mentioned.”
“The Most Popular Wine In America’s Top Restaurants”
#35 J. Lohr
“When our poll debuted in 1989, chardonnay was queen, accounting for 44 percent of mentions on respondents’ lists of best-selling wines. Today, chardonnay holds third place, with 8.9 percent of those mentions. When diners seek out chardonnay, they largely opt for American, which outpaced French nearly two to one.”
#7 J. Lohr
J. Lohr Estates Riverstone Chardonnay
J. Lohr Arroyo Vista Chardonnay
“Cabernet sauvignon still serves as the engine of wine sales for the country, leading in the varietal sweepstakes, beating out pinot noir this year for the pole position: More than 15 percent of all bottles on the table were cabernets or cab-based blends. Needless to say, they also represent the most expensive offerings on any given list. Two of the top brands in this year’s Top 50, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars and Jordan, are both cabernet houses; six of the top 12 brands, and ten of the top 20, are brands with strong cabernet programs. Steakhouses, now a fixture on the dining landscape, clearly lead in this trend, and the trend is California, Napa in particular. ‘Napa cabernet has developed a spot in the consumer’s brain to where it is the perfect pairing with steak,’ says Bill Elsey of Pappas Bros., in Houston. ‘It’s the number one place that people associate with California wine.’
But there seems to be more stylistic latitude within the category, as Maxwell Eyrise, at Five O’Clock Steakhouse in Milwaukee, observes. ‘I’ve noticed a lot more people asking for cabernet sauvignon with more elegance and structure, moving away from wines that are just super fruit-forward, and moving towards cabernets with some spice and a peppery bite.’
#31 J. Lohr
J. Lohr Estates Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon
J. Lohr Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon
“This year, the most popular wines on lists for $50 or less came largely from the New World, with California leading the pack. ‘Regions like Paso have it easy, because there are so many wines under $20 [wholesale],’ says Suzanne Wagner of New Jersey’s Restaurant Latour.”
#2 J. Lohr
J. Lohr Estates Riverstone Chardonnay
March 1, 2019
2017 Estates Falcon's Perch Pinot Noir
91 Points, Editors' Choice
"Aromas of baked red cherry, rose and fennel lead into a palate loaded with strawberry, sagebrush, thyme and loamy soil. The mouthfeel is full yet cut by strong acidity."
Wine Enthusiast, Feb. '19 issue
2017 Estates Riverstone Chardonnay
90 Points, Best Buy
“This wine starts with plush aromas of yellow melon, plumeria, wild lime sorbet and a hint of cream. There is ample zip to the palate, where acidity and a strong floral character keep the honeydew and white peach flavors in check."
Wine Enthusiast, Dec. '18 issue
2016 Estates Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon
90 Points, Editors' Choice
"Black cherry, smoke and a hint of caramel make for a very familiar and satisfying nose on this well-priced bottling. There is a deep core of black currant fruit, with chalky tannins, a dense mouthfeel and abundant acidity that drives into the finish."
Wine Enthusiast, Sept. '18 issue