Paso Robles AVA, San Luis Obispo County, California
Showing the most fruit upon release, with the potential to improve over the next five years.5 Years
An excellent pairing for cheese tortellini or herb-roasted chicken.
Have you ever noticed how good things often come in threes? The 2013 vintage of Los Osos Merlot sits right in the middle of three strong vintages for Paso Robles and may be remembered as the best vintage since the revered 1997. Preseason rainfall was just over half of normal and vine growth started early for Merlot with budbreak coinciding with St. Patricks Day. An especially warm month of April pushed vines into an early-May bloom. Blessed with the most ideal weather one could hope for during the critical two weeks of veraison, we averaged 85 degrees for this period when color development occurs in the skin of the berries. This great weather led to some of the darkest-colored wines we’ve seen in our cellar. The harvest period came early and was unhampered by weather challenges like rain or frost which can be vexing. The 2013 Merlot crop was harvested over a ten-day period from the 5th to the 15th of September with great ripeness and flavor development evident in every glass of our J. Lohr Estates Los Osos Merlot.
Traditionally, we harvest our estate-grown Merlot grapes across a range of sugar ripeness. The early picks usually capture the classic varietal definition of Merlot, while the fruit harvested later adds depth and intensity to the wine. Clone and rootstock combinations, along with variations in soil, add complexity to our Los Osos Merlot, as does the introduction of Italian clones. We grow our Merlot grapes in Nacimiento-Los Osos, Arbuckle-San Ysidro, and Arbuckle-Positas complex soils in our vineyards in Paso Robles, where these well-drained but relatively poor soils have chalky or gravelly components.