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.
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. 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.
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 2017 J. Lohr Gesture Zinfandel gets its bright red fruit notes from a south-facing block planted on a lime shale soil known as Gazos Shaly loam. The 2017 growing season broke the string of five years of consecutive drought in California, and brought generous rainfall to the area. 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. Our 2017 Gesture Zinfandel is brambly on the palate with black cherry fruit that lingers on the finish.