2018 J. Lohr Tower Road Petite Sirah
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Sunset International Wine Competition 2021
Bright and energetic with aromas of cranberry, olallieberry, and coconut shell. Delightful with tart red and blue fruit on the palate, followed by exquisite length, concentration, and an interesting floral character.
— Brenden Wood, red winemaker
Paso Robles AVA, CA
In the vineyards surrounding Tower Road, in the Estrella district of Paso Robles, our Petite Sirah thrives on the well-drained yet heavier clay soils of the area. Our ripening program requires that we apply netting to the vines in August to assure 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.
Thanks to a couple 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 in March. A nice stretch of warm weather in May assured a good bloom and fruit set, followed by an unprecedented 46-day heat spell beginning in early July. This had the effect of extending the growing season for Petite Sirah into November for the first time in our history, as vines shuttered and slowed phothosynthesis from the high temperatures. We included small amounts of Syrah and Grenache in the Tower Road blend, as in previous vintages. This 2018 vintage is our first use of the traditional Northern Rhône technique of including Viognier in the blend, which brings a nice complexity to the finish of this wine.