2017 J. Lohr Vineyard Series Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon
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Wine Enthusiast, May 2020
- "This reliable bottling offers fudge, caramel, black cherry and oak on the ripe nose. Cola and sarsparilla meet with black-cherry foam on the palate, where creamy tannins and just enough acidity carry into the finish."
The Tasting Panel, March 2020
- "Sourced from three estate vineyards in the El Pomar, Adelaida, and Creston districts, the latest vintage of J. Lohr’s flagship Cabernet Sauvignon shows off the new Vineyard Series packaging. This is one of Paso Robles’ most luxurious Cabs, and it continues to wave a magic wand of flavor and aromatics over its juicy core of blueberry and cassis. Petit Verdot (4%) and Malbec (1%) add an echo of violets and iron minerality."
The 2017 J. Lohr Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon shows splendid ripe fruit, Cocoa powder, and graphite on the nose. The palate comes across dense chalky and soft, with layers of black currant, mineral, and notes of toasted pastry.
— Steve Peck, Director of Winemaking
Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo County, California
Bright fruit upon release, with the structure to age comfortably for 8 to 12 years.
Delicious with rosemary-seasoned rib-eye and garlic roasted potatoes with parsnips and fennel.
A true Paso Robles Cabernet wine icon – drawn from J. Lohr’s top vineyards throughout the appellation.
In 2017, generous rainfall returned following the 5-year drought in California. Budbreak occurred
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. 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. This new 2017 release also marks the debut of dramatic new packaging for our iconic Vineyard Series tier.
Our Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon is primarily grown at three of J. Lohr’s vineyards in Paso Robles. Approximately 60% is from our Shotwell Vineyard in the El Pomar District. The Beck Vineyard, located at a 1,700 elevation in the Creston District, supplies 25% of the fruit. The balance is from our Gean Ranch in the Adelaida 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, 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 possible fruit with resolved tannins year after year.