Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo County, California
Greatest fruit intensity in the first three years, but can be cellared for 8 to 10 years.10 Years
Delicious with grilled flank steak and saffron rice.
Zinfandel holds its place as the heritage grape among winemakers in Paso Robles, where Ignacy Paderewski and others established the earliest plantings a century ago. The 2016 J. Lohr Gesture Zinfandel gets its brightest red fruit notes from a south-facing block planted on a lime shale soil known as Gazos Shaly Clay Loam. The ripest fruit notes are contributed from a calcareous block farmed at a high elevation in the Creston sub-AVA. The 2016 growing season was an unprecedented fifth consecutive year of drought in California. Warm springtime weather was absent of frost and brought excellent berry set prior to summer. October weather was mild, which allowed the fruit to mature completely. For Zinfandel, it is the acidity, and not sugar development, that defines ripeness when grown in a cool area like the Willow Creek District of Paso Robles. Harvesting was predicated on a drop in acidity coinciding with a burst in flavor long after sugar maturity had been achieved. The 2016 J. Lohr Gesture Zinfandel is plummy and round with black cherry fruit that lingers on the finish.
Our Gesture Zinfandel is a blend of fruit grown in the Paso Robles Willow Creek District, near the crossing of Highway 46 West & Vineyard Drive, and a 1,700 foot elevated calcareous site in the Creston district. Zinfandel can be difficult to ripen prior to the onset of October rain and frost in this coastal belt, where Spanish moss grows abundantly in the surrounding oak forests. In addition to the cool climate, this terroir is greatly defined by the Gazos Shaly Loam soil which is hardly soil at all, looking more like a solid rock formation at times. Fruit thinning in the vineyard is key to this program, both at veraison and prior to harvest, allowing us to select the best maturing bunches to give the wine optimal flavor balance.