2017 J. Lohr Vineyard Series Fog’s Reach Pinot Noir
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Matt Kettmann, Wine Enthusiast Advance Buying Guide
- Rich and deep on the nose, this bottling offers concentrated aromas of black raspberry, black cherry, cappuccino and oak on the inviting nose. The palate is broad in flavors of black cherry and boysenberry wrapped in toasty oak, making for a powerful style of Pinot Noir.
The Tasting Panel
- In Fog's Reach -- Jerry Lohr's first estate vineyard -- fog and wind join well-drained soils in influencing the character of the intensely flavored grapes. On the nose, this French oak-aged red blooms with a garden of lilac and lavender, and juicy notes of cherry and sweet tobacco waltz in on the elegant palate. A touch of minteral-driven soil melds with blue flowers on the finish.
Pinot Noir, Clones 115 and 777
Arroyo Seco AVA, Monterey County, CA
5-plus years aging potential with the greatest evolution of complex aromas within the first year in bottle.5 Years
Pair with a delicious dish of wild mushroom polenta or a board of Spanish charcuterie.
We were extremely pleased when the Arroyo Seco broke a six-year stretch of low rainfall and welcomed over 10 inches of precipitation prior to the 2017 growing season. The vineyards responded with healthy springtime canopy growth as they entered a very moderate summer period, with daily temperatures averaging in the low 80s. The hottest day of the year in the Arroyo Seco (and indeed the entire state of California) hit in the middle of the Labor Day weekend on September 2nd, with temperatures reaching 111 degrees Fahrenheit! Fortunately for us, we had adopted the unique practice of delayed pruning many years ago where we actually allow our Pinot Noirvines to emerge from dormancy and begin their springtime growth prior to the annual pruning. This practice causes a 2-week delay in vine maturity and allowed us to avoid the need to harvest during this dramatic late-summer 2017 heat spike. Indeed, we were able to allow the fruit an additional month of hangtime on the vine to develop the full flavor profile that drives our J. Lohr Fog’s Reach Pinot Noir.
Our Pinot Noir vineyard resides in the cool and windy enclave of the Arroyo Seco appellation of Monterey County. Comprised of multiple early-ripening Dijon selections of Pinot Noir (clones 115, 667, 777), as well as late-ripening Pommard 4, the vines are grown on extremely well-drained, loamy sand and gravelly loam soils intermixed and underlain by large potato-sized cobblestones. The unique combination of soil, climate, and viticulture produces deeply- colored Pinot Noir with elegantly refined structure and flavor.