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J Lohr Signature Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 80% Cabernet Sauvignon 6% Cabernet Franc 6% Saint Macaire 4% Petit Verdot 4% Malbec.
1,600 three-bottle cases, bottled June 201
J. Lohr Signature Cabernet Sauvignon was first produced to honor the 80th birthday of founder Jerry Lohr. This limited release was specially selected and blended from the exceptional 2016 vintage in Paso Robles. It is both a tribute to Jerry's pioneering efforts in the region and our red wine portfolio's ultimate expression of Cabernet Sauvignon. VINEYARDS & CELLAR Beck Vineyard, in the Creston District of Paso Robles, is a unique, high elevation site that sits at 1,700 feet above the early morning fog line. Its calcareous soils and cooling afternoon winds are perfect for growing Cabernet Sauvignon. The Cabernet from this vineyard ripens early with excellent color, purity of fruit, and phenolic maturity. Incorporation of Cabernet Franc brings freshness to the blend, while the rare Bordeaux variety, Saint Macaire, brings density and a savory character. Petit Verdot and Malbec add structure, color, and a component of bright fruit. The hand-harvested grapes were held separate at harvest and berry-sorted into six-ton open top tanks for fermentation. Maceration took place on the skins for five days, before early pressing to achieve ideal tannin extraction. Aged 19 months in 100% new French oak from coopers Nadalie and Sylvain.
The most expensive release is the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Signature, which is 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc, 3% Malbec, and 2% Saint Macaire aged 19 months in 100% new French oak. Its saturated purple hue is followed by powerful notes of blackcurrants, scorched earth, chocolate, white truffle, and chalky minerality, and it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, a concentrated, stacked mid-palate, building tannins, and a great finish. It's a beautiful wine. I'd give bottles 2-3 years to shed a touch of baby fat and develop more nuances, and it should keep for over a decade. -Jeb Dunnuck 93 Points
In the late 1960s, Jerry Lohr began an extensive investigation of California grape growing regions – searching for the ideal location for his first vineyard. Jerry was raised on a South Dakota farm; his agricultural roots armed him with an innate sense for the relationship between climate, soil, and location. His research and instincts led him to the Central Coast, an area just beginning to explore its potential for winegrowing.
It’s no coincidence that the Central Coast’s emergence as a world class winegrowing region runs parallel with the establishment and growth of J. Lohr Vineyards & Winery. Founder Jerry Lohr is one of the region’s pioneers and has played a larger-than-life role in bringing the area to prominence.
Jerry’s instincts led him to two regions located about 75 miles apart. In the early 1970s, he chose Monterey County’s Arroyo Seco district for its cool, windy climate and rocky soils as ideal for Chardonnay. In the 1980s, he recognized the potential of Paso Robles for growing Bordeaux varietals, especially Cabernet Sauvignon – given the area’s rich soils and dramatic diurnal temperature swings between warm days and cool nights.
After Jerry Lohr’s nearly decade-long search for the right place to plant his first vineyard, he chose a site in Monterey County that was to become the heart of the Arroyo Seco appellation. Jerry originally planted 280 acres in 1972 and 1973 near Greenfield. Monterey County’s Arroyo Seco appellation has proved ideal for growing layered, complex Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Brisk winds and fog off Monterey Bay, stony, well-drained soils, and a lack of damaging fall rains all combine to produce grapes with trademark fruit intensity and balancing acidity. In 1974, Jerry unveiled the first J. Lohr winery in San Jose.
In the early 1980s, Jerry Lohr saw the potential for great Cabernet Sauvignon further south. Borrowing a lesson from the French—that great Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon excel in very different growing conditions—Jerry began planting Cabernet Sauvignon and other red varieties in San Luis Obispo County’s little-known Paso Robles region in 1986. With the hands-on devotion of an artisan farmer, Jerry tended to the vines while diligently working toward the creation and development of an adjacent winery and barreling cellars; J. Lohr’s Paso Robles production facility was opened in 1988.
Niner Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 92% Cabernet Sauvignon 4% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot.
IN THE VINEYARD The 2017 vintage was the official end of the drought in Paso Robles. Consistent rain throughout winter and cooler temperatures throughout summer helped our grapes mature slowly and evenly. A couple heat spikes towards the end of the growing season made things interesting, but robust vine canopies from the rains protected our Cabernet Sauvignon, and we saw the higher natural tannin and deeper color than we have seen in years. We harvested most in September, 1-2 weeks earlier than normal.
Saturated ruby. Ripe cherry and dark berries on the nose, complicated by notes of mocha, vanilla and licorice. Deep, palate-coating cherry preserve, blackberry and boysenberry flavors show good depth and building sweetness. Reveals a building oak spice quality on the persistent finish, which features a repeating vanilla note and round, even tannins.
Vinous 91 Points
Bolstered by 4% each of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, this bottling begins with brisk aromas of black raspberry, cherry, wet gravel and marjoram on the nose. The palate is tightly woven and focused, combining dark strawberry and pencil shavings into a light-bodied and elegant display.
Wine Enthusiast 91 Points
Abeja Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley is made from 96% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot.
Aged for 20 months in 100% French, medium toast; 60% new, 40% one & two year old
The nose leads off with plum, bright blackberry, and dark bing cherries. A touch of dried blueberry rounds out the fruit proï¬le. Floral notes and cocoa, with nuances of cedar and spice, are sprinkled throughout. All of these characters follow through on the palate and, with a pleasant minerality and continuity, weave a tapestry of complexity and youthful exuberance.
"Plenty of blackcurrants and blueberries with a hit of new wood, too. Medium body, slightly firm tannins and a flavorful finish. This still needs some time to come together. Cabernet sauvignon with 1% petit verdot. Better after 2021."
- James Suckling (June 2020), 92 pts
Aromas of barrel spice, coffee, cherry, bittersweet chocolate, graphite and sautéed herb are followed by textured cherry and chocolate flavors. There's a pleasing sense of brightness to the acidity and deftness to the rich, creamy coffee and bright cherry flavors that keep the interest high. Plenty of tannic structure holds it all together. Coffee notes linger on the finish. It's far from a big bruiser and needs some time to all integrate but brings and abundance of rewards. Best after 2026 with a very long life beyond that.
-Wine Enthusiast 92 Points
The estate Cabernet Sauvignon is grown primarily along the southwest ridge of the vineyard. The vines produce small berries with bountiful flavor, concentration and intensity, but also a good degree of finesse, excellent structure and layers of complexity that will continue to develop during extended bottle aging for those who want to cellar and age their wines. The wine is powerful, elegant, full-bodied.
Bottled unfined and unfiltered.100% free run
Pumpovers and punch-downs, up to 45 day macerations
Native yeast, 5 day cold soaks
22 months in 75% new French oak barrels
Fermented in concrete and stainless closed top tanks.
"Opens with a burst of rich black raspberry and smoky pepper flavors, building tension and structure toward muscular, mineral-tinged tannins. Best from 2022 through 2030. —Tim FISH" - Wine Spectator's Insider (June 10th 2020), 93 pts
Jada Sawbones is made from Paso Robles 44% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Syrah, 14% Petit Verdot.
A seamless fusion of the best Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah lots from Jada Estate Vineyard. Currants, blackberries, pencil shavings, and clove meet ripe strawberry, chocolate and fresh minerality. Full-bodied with balanced tannin and a persistently fruity finish, the wine is supported by plenty of acidity.
SAWBONES is slang for a surgeon and doctor. Jada's founder and owner, Jack Messina, was a cardiovascular & thoracic surgeon for over 40 years so when Josh and the winemaker at the time were going back and forth about a new wine to showcase their Cab & Syrah programs, Josh decided on this tribute to his father to represent the many years of love and devotion Jack has given to ountless patients and families throughout his long career.
In 2017 they combined multiple small-lot fermentations of Syrah and a co-fermentation of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. The Cabernet Sauvignon is from clone 337 only, chosen to compliment the Syrah in this blend with dark and aromatic fruit, higher acidity, and deep color. The Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot co-fermentation spent 9 days in tank before pressing to avoid excessive tannin, whereas the Syrah fermentations averaged 16 days. All varieties were triple sorted with multiple green passes in the vineyard, cluster sorting, and a final berry sorting before gravity-filling each tank. Aging for 18 months in 225L Barrels (54% New French Oak, 36% Once Used French Oak).
"The 2017 Sawbones checks in as 44% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Syrah, and 14% Petit Verdot that spent 18 months in 54% new French oak. Its deep purple color is followed by stunning notes of blackcurrants, cassis, lead pencil shavings, chocolate, and crushed rocks. Pure, full-bodied, loaded with sweet fruit, and beautifully balanced, it's one hedonistic yet elegant beauty from this team that knocks it out of the park.”
- Jeb Dunnuck (October 2019), 96 pts
Jada Strayts is made from Paso Robles 51% Merlot, 19% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Petite Sirah, 13% Petit Verdot, 3% Malbec.
One of the most challenging yet rewarding grapes to grow on the Jada Estate Vineyard, Merlot still dominates this blend at 51% of the volume. Bright cherry and plum with balanced barrel spice, black pepper, clove and dried tea leaves. Creamy, milk chocolate mouthfeel and refreshing acidity on the finish.
Strayts refers to the Straits of Messina, a body of water that separates Italy from the Sicily and the city from which they get their family name. For those literary scholars amongst you, it may have been the inspiration for the legend of Scylla and Charybdis, described by Homer in the Odyssey. No sea monsters or whirlpools here.
The Strayts is a Merlot-focused blend, using Merlot from one block in the Jada Estate Vineyard. The block encompasses elevation changes over 75 feet, as well as soil types ranging from calcareous to deep, clay loam. The 2017 vintage demanded multiple picks on this block, starting 9/14/2017 and ending 10/6/2017, to see proper maturity throughout. Fermentations in this blend ranged from 14 to 19 days using a combination of pump-overs and hand punch-downs. The blend is aged in mostly medium toast barrels to preserve delicate aromatics, while supporting the richness and spice of the Merlot. Aging for 15 months (31% 500L barrels, 69% 225L barrels) in 53% New French Oak, 47% Neutral Oak.
"The Merlot-dominated cuvée, the 2017 Strayts is a blend of 51% Merlot, 19% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Petite Sirah, 13% Petit Verdot, and 3% Malbec. Notes of black cherries, toasted spice, dried earth, underbrush, and graphite notes all flow to a medium-bodied, rounded, supple wine that has good tannins, outstanding balance, and a charming, character-filled style."
- Jeb Dunnuck (October 2019), 91 pts
Cardinale Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot.
Cardinale offers the same winning combination in vinous form: a brilliant ensemble of celebrated Napa Valley vineyards where each brings its own personality and flavor contributions to create a singular storyline of their vintage. The 2017 has the signature structure of Cardinale and showcases Asian spice, blackberries, sweet black cherry, a touch of cedar, and a lush tannin expression that carries on the tradition of this wine at the highest level.
Winemaker CHRISTOPHER CARPENTER
A resounding success for the year, the 2017 Cardinale is truly impressive. It is also one of the most refined young wines I have tasted here. In most vintages, Cardinale is predominantly made from mountain sites, but the 2017 is roughly equal parts mountain and valley floor fruit. Inky blue/purplish fruit, white flowers, lavender and mint all build in the glass. Lifted and beautifully perfumed, the 2017 is exceptionally polished.
-- Antonio Galloni 97 Points
There was no Wallis vineyard fruit used this vintage. Very deep purple-black colored, the 2017 Cardinale charges out of the glass with notes of fresh blackcurrants, blackberries and Black Forest cake plus hints of menthol, cardamom, baking spices and lilacs plus a waft of cigar box. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is built like a brick house with firm, grainy, ripe tannins and fantastic freshness supporting the taut, muscular black fruits, finishing long and mineral laced. 1,440 cases produced.
-Wine Advocate 96 Points
A blend of 96% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Merlot from throughout the valley that was brought up in 80% new French oak, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon is dominated by its Stags Leap fruit (which is 30% of the blend) and has the classic elegance and spicy character of that district as well as great red and blue fruits, a seamless, building mid-palate, ripe yet present tannins, and ample tobacco, earth, and spice aromas and flavors. It's plush and textured on the palate yet has the structure to evolve for two decades.
-Jeb Dunnuck 96 Points
Dominus Napa Valley Red Blend is made from 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot.
The historic Napanook Vineyard, a 124-acre site west of Yountville, was planted in 1838. This vineyard was the source of fruit for some of the finest Napa Valley wines. Estate-bottled in the spirit of the Bordeaux châteaux, Dominus Estate is dry-farmed to allow natural stress and good concentration of fruit. Grape clusters are crop-thinned to allow sun and air to pass in between, helping to achieve full maturation and soften the tannins. Only 20% to 40% new French oak barrels are used in order to limit the extraction of oak notes. To express the unique terroir, the classic Bordeaux grape varietals of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot are planted with different root stocks best suited for the varying soil composition of gravel, heavy clay and loam.
The 2017 Dominus is one of the truly epic, grand wines of the vintage. Rich, dense and explosive, with tremendous concentration and sheer power, the 2017 Dominus captures all the personality of this site along with the natural opulence of the year. Inky dark fruit, lavender, menthol, licorice, plum, gravel and a host of dark spice notes infuse the 2017 with seemingly endless layers of nuance. Over the last two years I have tasted several hundred Napa Valley Cabernets, both from barrel and bottle. There is no question that Dominus belongs among the elite in 2017; it is simply a breathtaking wine. Certainly readers looking for a Napa Valley Cabernet to cellar should put Dominus at the top of their lists. -Vinous 98 Points
The grand vin is the 2017 Dominus, which is based on 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot, harvested between September 21 and October 3, and aged in 40% new French oak. Chateau Lafite-like notes of blackcurrants, lead pencil shavings, cedary tobacco, and gravelly earth all emerge from the glass, and it's full-bodied, has a terrific sense of elegance, lots of tannins, and a great finish. This tight, powerful, concentrated Dominus will benefit from 4-5 years of bottle age and keep for 25 years or more. 2017 doesn't get much better. -Robert Parker 97 Points
There was about 50% of a normal crop this year for the 2017 Dominus, due to strict selection. Grapes were harvested from September 21 to October 3 and the wine was bottled in June 2019. This year the blend is 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot, aged in 40% new French oak barrels. Very deep purple-black in color, it sashays nonchalantly out of the glass with graceful notions of potpourri, forest floor, crushed rocks, Ceylon tea and licorice with a core of black currant cordial, chocolate-covered cherries, mulberries and preserved plums plus a waft of garrigue. Full-bodied, the palate has a beautifully impactful, wonderfully quiet intensity of black and blue fruits with loads of floral and spicy sparks, framed by firm yet plush tannins, finishing with long-lasting earthy notes. -Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points
Pike Road Temperance Hill Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir
Bright, spicy cherry fruit is framed by beautiful floral and exotic spice tones. Don't be fooled by its bright red color, this is not a simple or wimpy wine. Lots of layers are woven into this beautifully exotic Pinot Noir with a silky, elegant finish.
About Temperance Hill Vineyard
This second-generation vineyard was first planted in 1981 on what is believed to be the remnants of an ancient volcano. Exposed to the cold Van Duzer winds at an elevation between 660 and 860 feet, Temperance Hill is one of the cooler sites in the Willamette Valley. Soil types are Nekia, Rittner, and Jory with varying slopes and exposures making it a very complex vineyard site. Temperance Hill is an organically farmed vineyard that uses certified Salmon-Safe methods.
The 2017 Vintage
2017 brought us back to what we consider a classic, cool-climate Oregon vintage, a year when our decades of experience paid off. Wet spring weather led to a more typical growing season compared with the past three vintages, all unusually hot. The summer of 2017 was warm and dry, leading to excellent flavor development in the fruit, but we thinned the crop considerably to ensure concentration and ripeness. Harvest was staggered because of the October rains, which meant long days for our crew during the windows of sun. 2017 wasn’t an easy year to farm, but the fresh, fully developed flavors of the vintage make it worth the hard work.
Pale ruby, the 2017 Pinot Noir Temperance Hill Vineyard opens with charcuterie, cranberries, red currant and wild blackberries with accents of amaro, earth and potpourri. It’s light to medium-bodied with floral-tinged fruits, a firm frame and juicy freshness, finishing long and spiced. 200 cases produced.
-Wine Advocate 92 Points