2017 J. Lohr Tower Road Petite Sirah
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Sunset International Wine Competition 2020
An inviting bouquet of toasted pastry frames the intense dark fruit characters of blackberry and olallieberry on the palate. Our gentle approach to winemaking delivers a juicy tannin structure with exquisite length and concentration.
— Steve Peck, director of winemaking
Paso Robles AVA, San Luis Obispo County, CA
This dense wine opens up early with a splash- decant, and should develop in the bottle for up to 8 years.8 Years
Pairs well with aromatic herbs and pan-seared meat dishes such as rosemary lamb chops with roasted fennel.
Our first Paso Robles Petite Sirah vines were planted just east of our Home Ranch winery, next to Tower Road, a superb site that fosters dark fruit wines with rich tannins and complex spice.
In the vineyards surrounding Tower Road, in the Estrella and San Miguel districts of Paso Robles, our Petite Sirah thrives on the well-drained yet heavier clay soils of the area. The rarity of autumn rains in Paso Robles allows this tight-clustered variety to reach full maturity almost every year, without the risk of bunch-rot that exists in damper regions of the state as well as parts of Europe. Our ripening program requires that we apply netting to the vines in August in order to ensure that birds don’t overfeed on this especially flavorful grape before harvest. Intense summer sun and very warm daytime temperatures in Paso Robles are balanced by the gentle afternoon breezes that creep in from the Monterey Bay to the north and from the Templeton Gap to the west. These winds cool the area by as much as fifty degrees by early morning, preserving the acidity and bright fruit character of our Petite Sirah.
In 2017, budbreak occurred in the normal timeframe, with vines waking from dormancy by the first week of April followed by bloom in the middle of May. Crop set was fair, with yields averaging five tons per acre on our Petite Sirah after dropping fruit in late July. An extreme heat wave in early September brought temperatures as high as 115°F along the Central Coast. Thankfully, our Petite Sirah crop was still weeks away from harvest and came through the heat unharmed. At harvest, we saw a higher level of sugar and flavor ripeness than we had seen since the string of great vintages from ‘12 to ‘14; the 2017 Tower Road is emblematic of the dense concentrated flavors that evolve in great vintages.