J. Lohr 2014 Petite Sirah, Tower Road, Paso Robles
The vineyards surrounding Tower Road, in the Estrella and San Miguel districts of Paso Robles are where Petite Sirah thrives on the well-drained yet heavier clay soils. The rarity of autumn rains in Paso Robles allows this tight-clustered variety to reach full maturity almost every year, without the risk of bunch-rot that exists in damper regions and the intense summer sun and warm daytime temperatures are balanced by the gentle afternoon breezes from the Monterey Bay and the Templeton Gap, preserving the acidity and bright fruit character. The grapes are hand-harvested and destemmed before fermentation in open-top tanks. The wine aged 16 months in 80% new French oak Burgundy export barrels. This wine scored 95 points from Wine Review Online. They said "2014 Hilltop Cabernet is of the sort that made Paso Robles Cab famous. It's ripe and juicy, spicy and racy, and priced modestly. With loads of blackberry and blueberry fruit and supple tannins, it's a crowd-pleaser that is primed for stardom during the upcoming grilling season. A 95 platinum award-winner at the 2017 Winemaker Challenge International Wine Competition." and it was recently awarded the Chairman's Trophy in the Ultimate Wine Challenge. They also gave it a 95 point score and said "A wine of undeniable pedigree; deep, dark, and intense bouquet of cassis, cocoa, cigar box, and black peppercorn fill the nose. Powerful and mouth-coating, it achieves perfect balance of fruit, earth, and spice all with a lifted acidity. Simply excellent."