2018 J. Lohr Estates South Ridge Syrah
The Tasting Panel, September/October 2021
Presented by Brenden Wood, Red Winemaker
Carefully crafted in a food-friendly, balanced style, J. Lohr Estates wines flavorfully reflect their Monterey and Paso Robles origins.
Varietal aromas of blueberry are accented by delicate notes of caramel and lilac in the 2018 J. Lohr South Ridge Syrah. The native spice and structure of this Northern Rhone cultivar is lengthened and lifted by a small portion of Roussanne and Viognier in the blend.
— Brenden Wood, red winemaker & Steve Peck, director of winemaking
Paso Robles AVA, San Luis Obispo County, CA
Expect texture to improve over the first 2 years in the bottle, with the capacity to hold another 8 years or more.10+ Years
Pair with a slow-roasted pork shoulder and herbed potatoes. For simple, casual fare, try a classic BLT.
Rich Paso Robles berry and plum married to Rhone-style spice and structure presents a perfect example of a Paso Robles Syrah wine.
Thanks to a series of late winter storms, the 2018 growing season will be remembered as the fourth in a string of normal rainfall years in Paso Robles, with over 70% of this season's rainfall being accumulated in a 3-week period during the month of March. That kicked off a rare vintage of exceptional quality and yield. A nice stretch of warm weather in May assured a good bloom and fruit set on the developing clusters. This was followed by an unprecendented 46 day heat spell, beginning in early July, where we saw an unthinkable 38 days over 100 degrees fahrenheit in the region. This had the effect of shortening the growing season for the early ripening Syrah variety. We have included Roussanne, Viognier and Grenache at various percentages as in previous vintages of South Ridge Syrah. In this 2018 vintage, we like the way Roussanne brings length to the palate, Viognier lifts the aromatics, and Grenache adds a bright fruit quality to the South Ridge Syrah blend.
The J. Lohr Estates South Ridge Syrah is grown on a combination of lime-laden and gravelly soils, which rein in Syrah’s rangy growth potential. Roughly 45% of this fruit was grown in the cooler districts of Willow Creek, Adelaida and Willow Creek, which infuse the blend with aromatic white pepper and sandalwood notes. Another 30% is from blocks the the warmer Estrella and San Miguel districts where Syrah flavors trend toward black tea and camphor. 15% is from our high elevation Beck Vineyard in the Creston sub-AVA, which adds exceptionally dark color and blue fruit notes.