2015 J. Lohr Vineyard Series Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon
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Wine Enthusiast Advance Buying Guide, July 2018
- “This wine is bursting in lavish aromas of blueberry, black currant and fudge that lead into a palate full of mouthcoating tannins and solid acidity. Blackberry, black plum and dried herb flavors complete the picture.” -Matt Kettmann
The 2015 J. Lohr Hilltop is a great example of the J. Lohr house style of “dense but soft” Cabernet Sauvignon. Effusive blackberry and currant aromas are integrated with a bouquet of toasted hazelnut and cocoa powder from 18 months of French oak barrel age. Bright fruit on the mid-palate finishes clean and invigorates the appetite for an array of rich menu items.
— Steve Peck, Director of Winemaking
Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo County, California
Bright fruit upon release, with structure to age comfortably for 7 to 10 years.10 Years
Delicious with rosemary-seasoned ribeye, served with garlic roasted potatoes with parsnips and fennel.
We witnessed a rare fourth consecutive year of low rainfall in the Paso Robles growing region and throughout California in 2015. Budbreak was early, as is typical in dry years, with vines coming out of dormancy in mid-March. Good growing conditions in April were followed by an unusually cold period in early May that disrupted bloom. As a result, the Cabernet Sauvignon crop was roughly half of normal due to shatter, with each cluster bearing just half the typical number of berries. The small crop ripened readily as fall approached, with this early harvest beginning in earnest on September 15th. Young wines showed explosive fruit and concentration immediately and our enthusiasm for the vintage continued as we assembled the blends prior to barrel aging. We appreciate the integration of ripe flavor and mature texture that is the result of the traditional Bordeaux winegrowing techniques used at J. Lohr.
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.