About J. Lohr 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon, Hilltop, Paso Robles
J. Lohr Vineyards is a pioneering winery in the Central Coast. As one of the first to produce Cabernet in Paso Robles they've staked out select vineyard sites in the Paso Robles AVA. With long summer days of intense sunshine, high, near 100F daytime temperatures are followed by chilly, ocean-cooled nights in the 50's. Here 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, and the struggling vines produce deeply concentrated fruit.
A blend of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot and 2% Malbec aged 18 months in 70% new French oak, very tight grain.
Tasting Panel Magazine scored this 94 points saying "The majority of grapes for this blend, which includes some Petit Verdot and Malbec, were sourced from the cooler El Pomar District, with an additional selection off a 1,700-foot-high site in the warmer Creston District. Scents of blackberry preserves, pepper, and tobacco are at the forefront. Polished tannins and a juicy mouthfeel meld with notes of tilled soil, black olive, and black currant. One of the deeper and darker vintages, it shows a maturity and more finesse than we have ever experienced from this wine, revealed in balanced acidity and fruit that’s bright and poignant—intense but not overbearing."
This 2018 was awarded 93 points and a Gold Medal in the San Diego Wine Challenge and Wine Enthusiast Magazine awarded this an Editors' Choice and 93 points saying "This widely available bottling remains a very wise choice for the price point. Dark in the glass, it begins with cassis, pie crust and baking spice on the nose, yet there’s a savory black-olive touch as well. Firm yet polished tannins carry dark fruit, cocoa and light licorice through the dense palate."