2010 was the coolest vintage Paso Robles has seen in a decade. With winter rainfall nearly 50% above normal, and growing degree days lagging, we had concerns that this vintage may not get completely ripe. This cool seasonal trend provided an ideal challenge for our progressive approach to irrigation that imposes a “drydown” period through June and July in the vineyard. Particularly important for Cabernet Franc, we were able to shape native green pepper aromas and grippy tannins that this grape variety is known for, toward red fruit aromas and chocolaty tannins in the wine. This dramatic farming approach for Cabernet Franc vines on our Home Ranch was able to stop vegetative growth early in the season, and drive rapid seed and tannin maturity at lower brix in this cool 2010 vintage. Springtime blending of the Cuvée St. E led us to use a greater fraction of Merlot and a lesser amount of Cabernet Sauvignon to support the Cabernet Franc base, and we love the touch of spice to the finish brought by the small percentage of Malbec.
Cuvée St. E
The inspiration for our J. Lohr Cuvée St. E comes from the Grand Cru wines of St. Emilion from the Right Bank of Bordeaux. These memorable wines are composed primarily from Cabernet Franc and Merlot with touches of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Petit Verdot. We are given the freedom to emulate these great wines without the restrictions of varietal percentages, instead keenly focusing on the texture and complexity of the blend that nature delivers with each vintage.
Paso Robles AVA, San Luis Obispo County, CA
Delicious now, but will improve over the next 10 to 15 years.10 Years
Filet mignon with shallot cream sauce or osso buco (braised veal shanks) over a bed of polenta.