Estrella District, Paso Robles, CA
Petit Verdot will age gracefully, with proper cellaring, for over a decade.12 Years
Pair with mushroom risotto or as post-meal accompaniment to aged hard cheeses.
This Petit Verdot was grown on the J. Lohr Home Ranch in the warmer Region III Estrella District of Paso Robles. The block was planted to an east-west row orientation in 2008 with clone 400 Petit Verdot on low-vigor 420A rootstock. The soils are coarse, loamy Arbuckle-San Ysidro complex. A highly fruitful variety, Petit Verdot is prone to over cropping by setting three to four clusters on each shoot, requiring extensive fruit thinning to achieve luxury-category wine quality. Our program involves pinching clusters from young shoots in early spring, followed by dropping to one cluster per shoot prior to veraison. This protocol favors good canopy development and allows sunlight to envelope every berry on every cluster, resulting in exceptional color and flavor development.
The return of generous rainfall in 2017 followed an unprecedented 5-year period of low precipitation. Budbreak occurred in the normal timeframe, with Petit Verdot waking from dormancy during the first week of April followed by bloom in the middle of May. Crop yields were near average at 4 tons per acre on this block. Petit Verdot was still several weeks away from harvest when an alarming, extreme heat event hit almost the entire California coast with temperatures as high as 115 degrees. The Petit Verdot came through that heat spike unharmed but we saw higher levels of sugar and flavor ripeness in this vintage than had been seen since the string of three great vintages from ‘12 to ‘14.