2017 J. Lohr Estates Wildflower Valdiguié
A warmer year in this cool climate growing area resulted in a remarkable showing for the 2017 J. Lohr Estates Wildflower Valdiguié. Bright red hues and profuse brambly fruit aromas are accented by black pepper notes. On tasting, a zesty attack of pomegranate and blueberry fruit leaves crisp, fresh fruit on the palate. Serve cool, and drink your last bottle just in time for the release of the new vintage!
— Steve Peck, Director of Winemaking
Monterey AVA, Monterey County, CA
Best enjoyed within four years of bottling.4 Years
A great complement to a charcuterie plate of country paté, greek olives, cornichon and hard cheeses.
Valdiguié is a very large-berried variety, requiring extra vigilance from our Arroyo Seco vineyard crew to prune to only one bud per spur and aggressively thin any extra shoots pushing from the cordon. Otherwise, yields are too high, and ripening becomes difficult for this late-maturing variety. In our winemaking, the goal is to preserve the wonderful natural acidity and fresh fruit character of this varietal. We incorporate two different fermentation techniques to achieve this. For our final pick of the season in 2017, we hand-harvested roughly one-third of the fruit and put those whole clusters directly into the fermention tanks, in a winemaking process called carbonic maceration – no crushing, punching down, or pumping over of the whole clusters is performed. The balance of the fruit was fermented by a more conventional technique of gently de-stemming to the fermenter, then pumping over and extracting with a fairly short, warm fermentation. Combining these two processes creates a wine with great similarity to the best “Crus” of Beaujolais, with enticing berry fruit flavors, a vibrant color and soft tannins.
Our Valdiguié is grown on Chualar loam soil in the Arroyo Seco appellation of Monterey County. Originally thought to be the Gamay Noir grape of France’s Beaujolais winegrowing region, U.C. Davis has since identified this grape to be Valdiguié from an area in the southwest of France. Regardless of its origin and identity, Valdiguié grown in the windy, cold Arroyo Seco produces a wine reminiscent of the “Crus” of Beaujolais - Morgon, Fleurie and Moulin-à-Vent.