With the return of generous rainfall following an unprecedented 5-year period of drought throughout California, 2017 was a restorative vintage for our Paso Robles vineyards. Budbreak occurred in the normal time period, with most vines waking from dormancy by the first week of April followed by bloom in the middle of May. Crop set was average at best, with overall yields under 3 tons per acre for our Hilltop blocks. An extreme heat event occurred in early September, which brought temperatures as high as 115 degrees along the coast from Los Angeles to north of San Francisco. Thankfully, our Cabernet crop was several weeks away from harvest and came through the heat spike unharmed. In this vintage we saw a higher level of sugar and flavor ripeness than had been seen since the string of great vintages from '12 to '14. It's great to see the new, updated labels being applied on the bottles of what will mark one of the great vintages of J. Lohr Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon.
Our Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon is grown primarily at three of J. Lohr's vineyards in Paso Robles. Approximately 60% is from our Shotwell vineyard in the El Pomar District; 25% is from the Beck vineyard, located at a 1,700 foot elevation in the Creston District; and the balance is from our Gean Ranch in the Adelaide district along with a collection of other small 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, resulting in the darkest fruit with resolved tannins year after year.
Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo County, California
Bright fruit upon release, with the structure to age comfortably for 8 to 12 years.
Food PairingsDelicious with rosemary-seasoned rib-eye and garlic roasted potatoes with parsnips and fennel.