2021 J. Lohr Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon
2023 Sunset International Wine Competition
Wine Enthusiast, Nov. 2023
Exhilarating blackberry and blueberry aromas are enhanced by crushed violet, herbes de Provence, and spiced tea. On the palate, dense and soft, with finely textured tannins. Juicy layers of black and red currants lead to a bright finish, accented by pastry notes from extended barrel 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 for 10 to 15 years when properly cellared.15 Years
Delicious with rosemary-seasoned ribeye and garlic roasted potatoes with parsnips and fennel.
Time in Barrel: 16 months in 225-liter barrels
Barrel Type: French oak, very tight grain, 40% new
One of Paso Robles best known Cabernets – drawn from J. Lohr’s top vineyards throughout the appellation.
The primary source of this year’s Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon blend was our J. Lohr Shotwell Vineyard located within the cool, Templeton Gap-influenced El Pomar District of Paso Robles. Our J. Lohr Beck Vineyard provided 10% of the fruit from its 1,700 foot elevation in the La Panza range in the Creston District. The final 10% of the blend comes from our J. Lohr ranches located within the mountainous Adelaida District. As is typical, we’ve added small amounts of estate grown Petit Verdot, Malbec, and Cabernet Franc to hone the final wine. Our Cabernet vines are naturally stressed in the dry, often very gravelly, and sometimes lime shale-laden soils in the region. 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.
In Paso Robles, we received generous preseason rainfall during January 2021, but an especially dry winter and spring followed. Dry conditions in 2021 forced vines to produce small but concentrated berries, typical of drought years in the Paso Robles appellation. Consistently mild daytime temperatures, though, paired with cool nights to keep berries fresh; this allowed winegrowers the luxury of patience to harvest grapes at optimal ripeness. As a result, extractable anthocyanin content in red varieties in Paso Robles reached an all-time high, with resulting wines easily eclipsing color density levels of the acclaimed 2007, 2013, and 2019 vintages. The 2021 J. Lohr Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon shows unprecedented concentration and depth, with finesse and an astonishing purity of fruit. Please decant for utmost enjoyment.