Just In: Latest Accolades and Reviews
Congratulations to our stellar vineyards and winemaking teams for these great mentions!
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!
March 6, 2020
2016 Highlands Bench Pinot Noir — 90 Points, Year’s Best US Pinot Noirs
Patrick J. Comiskey, Wine & Spirits, April 2020
“J. Lohr’s vineyards are just west of Gonzales, roughly the midway point of the Santa Lucia Highlands Bench. This wine has plenty of ripe strawberry and plum flavors but avoids the mass and weight of many wines from the area. Instead there’s grip and contour, a whiff of umami and smoke, with a succulence offset by brisk acids.”
January 27, 2020
2017 Los Osos Merlot — 92 Points
Meridith May, The Tasting Panel, January/February 2020
“For the price, this Merlot (with a little Malbec) wows: It’s ripe and juicy, with aromas and flavors that bring out pretty tones of red and purple flowers. Luscious dark chocolate, vibrant acidity, and a savory finish keep the mouth hydrated.”
November 23, 2019
Wine, etc.: Looking for Thanksgiving Wine? Here’s a list that will impress your guests — Tom Marquardt and Patrick Darr, Capital Gazette, November 2019
J. Lohr Estates Riverstone Chardonnay 2018: This producer uses nine different clones from the Arroyo Seco region of Monterey to produce a flashy, buttery chardonnay with stone fruit flavors and a hint of citrus and vanilla.
October 11, 2019
The J. Lohr Pure Paso™ Proprietary Red Wine is a culmination of our long history of innovation in Paso Robles. It is our delicious, proprietary tribute to one of the world’s greatest winegrowing regions — a special place that J. Lohr is proud to call home.
Michelle Ball, SOMM Journal, August/September 2019
Opaque with a fuchsia rim, this wine features aromas of warm blackberry pie that punch through the glass.Under a veil of savory mint and subtle notes of lavender, spicy tannins lead to generous black fruit and whispers of sage and graphite. There is so much plea-sure in this wine, yet there’s still a cerebral quality that begs for further discovery.
J. Lohr Debuts Pure Paso Red, A Tribute To The Region The Estate Helped Build
Kristen Bieler, Massachusetts Beverage Business, October 2019
Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah are two grapes that Paso Robles does exceptionally well, according to Steve Lohr, CEO of J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines. And if anyone would know what this California AVA excels at, it would be the Lohr family, who helped pioneer Paso Robles in the early 1980s when the region was not yet on the industry’s radar.
The new wine, J. Lohr Pure Paso Proprietary Red Wine, is both a tribute to these varieties — the blend is roughly 70% Cabernet and 30% Petite Sirah — and a celebration of the appellation that has grown exponentially in vineyard acreage and recognition, yet still needs to be championed, believes Lohr.
When Jerry Lohr first came to Paso Robles, he identified its potential for Rhône grapes. His first wine was in fact a Petite Sirah — long before most vintners were working with the variety. The very fact that it thrives in the same place as Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the aspects of Paso Robles that is so unique. “The Paso region is the rare place that can perfectly ripen Rhône and Bordeaux varieties,” says Jeff Meier, President/COO, who has been making wine for J. Lohr for over 30 years.
Today J. Lohr farms 2,100 acres of Cabernet and 115 acres of Petite Sirah in Paso Robles. The debut 2017 vintage of J. Lohr Pure Paso is sourced from the winery’s Shotwell Vineyard in the El Pomar District and from the warmer Paso Robles Estrella District. “The model for this wine was the 40th Anniversary Red we released in 2014,” says Lawrence Lohr, co-owner. “People loved that wine — it showcased all the bold, intense flavors that the region and our winery is known for — and it inspired J. Lohr Pure Paso.”
The winery has also been a regional leader on matching grape to place and striving to understand the complex array of soil types that vary site to site.
“Matching rootstocks to soils took us 20 years to fully understand,” says Meier. “It’s changed the way we approach viticulture here.” The winery also hired a Bordeaux consultant to create a new irrigation philosophy for limited, more targeted watering. “The continual fine-tuning of our estate vineyards has enabled us to make better our best wines ever,” says Steve Lohr. “It strengthens our ability to advance the Paso Robles appellation, and which was our father’s goal from the moment he set foot here.”
J. Lohr ‘Pure Paso’ Proprietary Red Wine
The Beverage Journal, September 2019
Showcasing Cabernet Sauvignon, in a blend with Petite Sirah, J. Lohr “Pure Paso” honors both the winery’s early roots and their ongoing commitment to the Paso Robles AVA. J. Lohr’s very first wine (1974) was a Petite Sirah, which inspired its inclusion here. The P.S. sourced from the Home Ranch provides jammy, dark berry notes; Cabernet from a cooler area offers savory elements. Whole berry fermentation and early pressing accentuate the supple structure.
J. Lohr Vineyard & Wines Debuts a New Red Blend
Market Watch, September 2019
Paso Robles, California-based J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines has debuted a new red blend. J. Lohr Pure PasoProprietary Red Blend ($27 a 750-ml.) consists primarily of two varietals — Cabernet Sauvignon and PetiteSirah — sourced from Paso sub-regions El Pomar and Estrella District, respectively. Small quantities ofMerlot, Petit Verdot, and Malbec round out the blend, which was aged for 18 months prior to bottling.
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 Chardonnay
“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