2011 J. Lohr Vineyard Series Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon
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Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo County, CA
Rich intense fruit upon release, with structure to age comfortably for 7 to 10 years10 Years
Delicious with rosemary-seasoned ribeye, roasted potatoes and asparagus.
A cool climate prevailed in 2011, much like the 2010 season, which had been the coolest in a decade. Low yielding secondary shoots grew to replace frost damaged primary shoots after a defining hard frost hit the Paso Robles area on April 8th, 2011. Winter rainfall had provided sufficient soil moisture for rapid springtime growth of the vines after the setback of the early frost. We saw fewer clusters with larger berries, which pushed the wines toward a softer tannin profile. Vineyard yields were down considerably, averaging just 2.5 tons per acre in most blocks. Our standard practice was to stop irrigation of the Cabernet vines just after fruitset in early June and wait eight weeks or more until the soil ran out of moisture in early August. This prompted seeds to harden and brown early, and perhaps more importantly, shifted flavor in the berries from herbal to fruity in this distinctly cool 2011 vintage. This edition of J. Lohr Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon delivers on its promise to be dense and soft with a great fruit signature.
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.