2016 J. Lohr Estates Los Osos Merlot
The 2016 J. Lohr Estates Los Osos Merlot has a medium-dark color intensity with a mature red hue in the glass. Varietal aromas of black cherry and lilac are integrated with a barrel signature of toasted hazelnut, dark chocolate, and baking spice. We use whole berry fermentation and a generous amount of Malbec in this blend to accentuate bright fruit tones and provide a rich, lengthy finish.
— Steve Peck, Director of Winemaking
Paso Robles AVA, San Luis Obispo County, California
Showing the most fruit upon release, with thepotential to improve over the next five years.5 Years
Delicious with summer grilled sausages or herb-roasted chicken.
While rainfall was short of average in 2016, the timing was ideal for vine health and wine quality. Every phenological marker, including budbreak, bloom and veraison, occurred 1 to 2 weeks earlier than normal. Buds began to push on the Merlot vines on the 22nd of March at our Creston Road vineyard following heavy rains earlier in the month. Vine canopy growth propelled through the spring, bouyed by light rains in April and a pleasant bloom period in early May. Tannin structure was amplified by a warm veraison period beginning the third week of July. Good ripening weather brought the peak Merlot harvest in early this vintage, between September 27th and October 3rd, with brix levels near 25°.
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 of Merlot. We grow our Merlot grapes in the moderately cool El Pomar district of Paso Robles, which is generally acknowledged to be the ideal area for this variety in the Paso Robles AVA. Planted on Nacimiento-Los Osos, Arbuckle-San Ysidro, and Arbuckle-Positas complex soils, these well-drained but relatively poor soils limit vine vigor and support wine quality.