2021 J. Lohr Estates Los Osos Merlot
Tasting Panel Magazine, Sept. 2023
Wine Enthusiast, Nov. 2023
Varietal aromas of plum, currant, and violet are elevated by a light barrel signature of baking spices and toasted pastry. The addition of Malbec contributes notes of pomegranate and hibiscus flower. Cabernet Franc brings layers of cocoa and peppery spice. The mouth-watering palate transitions to a lingering black cherry finish.
— Brenden Wood, red winemaker & Steve Peck, vice president of winemaking
Paso Robles AVA, San Luis Obispo County, CA
Bright fruit flavors with supple tannins upon release, but will evolve pleasingly over the next 5 to 7 years.7 Years
This versatile wine pairs well with grilled sausage and vegetable shish kebabs or creamy spinach and tomato tortellini.
Fermentation: Whole-berry fermentation in stainless steel tanks
Maturation: 12 months in barrel with 15% new oak
Barrel Type: American oak, primarily medium and medium-long toast with toasted heads
Rich, Paso Robles Merlot wine with just the right touch of sweet oak and gentle tannins for pairing with anything off the grill.
We grow our Merlot grapes in the moderately cool El Pomar District of Paso Robles, which is generally acknowledged to be the ideal area for this variety in the Paso Robles AVA. Planted on Nacimiento-Los Osos, Arbuckle-San Ysidro, and Arbuckle-Positas complex soils, these well- drained but relatively poor mediums limit vine vigor and support wine quality. We harvest our estate-grown Merlot grapes across a range of sugar ripeness. The early picks usually capture the classic varietal definition of Merlot, while the fruit harvested later adds depth and intensity. The clone and rootstock combinations, along with variations in soil, build layered complexity.
Paso Robles experienced generous preseason rainfall in January of 2021 but the remainder of the winter and spring saw little precipitation. The dry conditions forced vines to produce small but concentrated berries, typical of drought years in Paso Robles. Though dry, the growing season saw moderate daytime temperatures with reliably cool nights and mornings. This kept berries fresh and allowed Paso Robles winegrowers the luxury of patience to harvest grapes at optimal ripeness. We commenced our first Merlot pick on September 20th. Generous additions of Malbec and Cabernet Franc to the blend added sophisticated aromatics and juiciness to the palate.