2013 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, garlic roasted potatoes, parsnips and fennel.
As the second in a string of three very favorable vintages, 2013 may be remembered as the best since 2007 for Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon. Winter rainfall was sparse — just one third of normal. The warm spring weather favored early vine growth and a proper pollination period in May. The most defining element of the vintage was the ideal temperatures during Veraison in late July and early August while the fruit was coloring up. A Goldilocks fortnight… not too hot, not too cold, resulted in exceptional phenolic development and some of the darkest-colored Cabernet we’ve ever made. Temperate weather throughout the harvest period allowed us to pick each block at ideal maturity without concern for rain or heat spikes. When assembling the blend, we liked what a little Merlot did to freshen the aroma, and found that a touch of Petit Verdot trued up the palate impact.
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 by 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.