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J. Lohr Carol's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
J. Lohr donates $2 of the sale of every bottle of Carol's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Four years ago, J. Lohr began the Touching Lives program in memory of Carol Waldorf Lohr, late wife of founder Jerry Lohr. In 2008, Carol, who was the muse for Jerry's Napa Valley vineyard, passed away unexpectedly due to complications related to breast cancer. Since, the Lohr family has been working to curtail the impact of breast cancer in the lives of other families.
Blend: 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Petit Verdot, 4% other red
Good results almost always occur when J. Lohr, most of whose red wines come from Paso Robles, used Cabernet Sauvignon from this Napa Valley vineyard. The 2009 is the best effort yet; It's very rich in black currant flavor, yet it is perfectly balanced, with fine acidity and smooth tannins. Drink this lovely wine now and over the next six years.
One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.
In the Glass
Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.
Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.
While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.