2019 J. Lohr Highlands Bench Pinot Noir
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The 2019 Highlands Bench Pinot Noir displays an aromatic core of black cherry and strawberry allied to spicy notes of nutmeg, mocha, and black pepper. On the palate, bright raspberry flavors are wrapped in a creamy texture and toasty oak from our bi-weekly barrel stirring program.
— Brenden Wood, red winemaker
Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey County, CA
This wine has the structure to age 5 to 7 years, with the greatest fruit evolution in the early years.7 Years
Delicious with beef carpaccio, roast chicken or duck, or grilled lamb.
This limited-release Highlands Bench Pinot Noir comes from the Costa Vineyard, in the famed Santa Lucia Highlands appellation of Monterey. In 2008, we were invited to partner with the Costa family to establish a Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vineyard on the family property. We participated in soil evaluation, vineyard layout, and clone and rootstock selection, ultimately choosing the highest elevations and most gravelly soils for the Pinot Noir plantings. The close proximity to Monterey Bay, the estate’s eastern slope and aspect, and its elevation above the valley floor combine to grow intensely- flavored Burgundian varietals.
The 2019 growing season in the Santa Lucia Highlands saw a consistent series of winter storms in December, January, and February. Cool, foggy mornings and evenings in the spring and summer created ideal slow-ripening conditions for Pinot Noir. Above average temperatures in late September and early October pushed ripening for the vintage, which is showing exceptional aromatic complexity in the bottle. Ultimately, our top blocks for this Highlands Bench release were Dijon clones 667 and 777; the fruit was hand-picked and sorted on October 7th, 2019.