2020 J. Lohr Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon
Wine Enthusiast, December 2022
The Tasting Panel, January/February 2023
The 2020 J. Lohr Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon displays trademark aromas of blackberry, black currant, and toasted pastry crust. Dense and soft on the palate. Elegant layers of black and red currants leave a bright finish, accented by spice and pastry notes from extended oak aging.
— Brenden Wood, red winemaker
Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo County, California
Complex and refined dark fruit upon release with the structure to age gracefully, properly cellared, for a decade.12 Years
Delicious with rosemary- seasoned ribeye and garlic roasted potatoes with parsnips and fennel.
Time in Barrel: 18 months in 225-liter barrels
Barrel Type: French oak, very tight grain, 58% new
One of Paso Robles best known Cabernets – drawn from J. Lohr’s top vineyards throughout the appellation.
The majority of the fruit for the 2020 Hilltop vintage was grown on the J. Lohr Shotwell Vineyard, located within the cool Templeton Gap-influenced El Pomar District of Paso Robles. Twelve percent was from our Beck Vineyard, uniquely located at a 1,700 foot elevation in the Creston District. The balance of the blend was from our J. Lohr properties in the mountainous Adelaida District. Our Paso Robles vineyards are blessed with long summer days of intense sunshine; the near 100°F daytime temperatures in summertime are followed by chilly, ocean-cooled nights in the 50s. The Cabernet vines are naturally stressed in the dry, often very gravelly, and sometimes lime shale-laden soils. Water is at a premium in these vineyards, enabling the viticulturist to fine-tune pruning and irrigation to achieve dark fruit with resolved tannins year after year.
Overall, precipitation for the 2020 season in Paso Robles was on par with its 25-year historical average. Springtime enjoyed temperate daytime temperatures which allowed vines to have good flower bloom and canopy growth. Fruit set was modest, after two previous years with above average crop loads. The healthy canopies allowed the vines to withstand late summer heatwaves with little desiccation. As in past vintages, our 2020 Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon was blended with a portion of Petit Verdot and Malbec. Petit Verdot adds luxurious blue fruit aromas and hones the mid-palate structure while Malbec amplifies red currant aromas and flavor. We also included 2% Cabernet Franc in this blend to freshen the fruit aromas and infuse the finish with a lively spice character.