2018 J. Lohr Estates Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon
Wine Enthusiast, November 2020
- For an affordable wine that’s available almost everywhere in the country, this bottling is hard to beat. Fresh aromas of black currant, elderberry, lilac, pepper and charcoal lead into a rich palate of cassis, oak and charred beef, all lifted by herbs and peppercorns.
The 2018 J. Lohr Estates Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon is dark and dense in color, showing a bright hue at release. Ripe fruit aromas of black cherry and currant are accented by notes of toasted pastry and dark roast coffee from the authentic barrel bouquet. Persistent high-toned red fruit strikes the palate, followed by bright acidity and a structure that is both dense and soft at once.
— Steve Peck, director of winemaking
Paso Robles AVA, San Luis Obispo County, CA
Balanced and fruit forward upon release, with adequate structure to age five years or longer.5 Years
Maturation: 12 months aging in 60-gallon American oak barrels, 20% new
Barrel type: Predominantly medium-plus toasted Missouri and Minnesota oak with toasted heads
A classic wine icon for thirty vintages – one of America’s favorite Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignons.
Thanks to a “Miracle March,” the 2018 growing season will be remembered as the fourth in a string of near- normal rainfall years in Paso Robles. Over 70% of the season’s rainfall was accumulated in a 3-week period beginning the first of March, which kicked off a rare vintage of exceptional quality and yield. A stretch of warm weather in May assured a good bloom and fruit set on the developing clusters. This was followed by an unprecedented heat spell beginning after the 4th of July holiday, where we saw an unthinkable 38 days over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Ever-patient to allow fruit to fully ripen, we began the Cabernet harvest in earnest on the last day of September in our vineyards on the north end of the appellation. We then worked our way south through the later ripening blocks into the first week of November. In more than three decades of producing Seven Oaks Cabernet in Paso Robles, we have seen a handful of vintages that stand out from the rest. The 2018 vintage joins the ranks of 1997, 2007 and 2013, showing exceptional depth of color, fruit intensity and finesse.
The predominant sources for our J. Lohr Estates Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon are our estate vineyard located directly opposite our J. Lohr Paso Robles Wine Center and two newer sites just to the north: the J. Lohr Sinclair Ranch and the J. Lohr Jones Ranch. The Seven Oaks vineyard was initially planted on its own rootstock, utilizing some of the original plantings from indigenous Estrella clones widely planted in Paso Robles. The soils in our vineyards vary from gravelly clay loam to limestone-based soils; over a relatively small parcel of land, and various rootstock and clonal combinations have been used to maximize the expression of each individual site. The different soil types and planting combinations add to the complexity of each Seven Oaks vintage.