J. Lohr Estates Los Osos Merlot 2020
The J. Lohr Estates Los Osos Merlot is medium-dark in color with a red hue. Varietal aromas of black plum and violet meld with the light barrel signature of baking spices and toasted pastry. A generous fraction of Malbec in the blend accentuates bright fruit tones and contributes notes of pomegranate and hibiscus flower. This wine is lively and bright on the palate and cascades to a lengthy, red-fruit finish. It's named after the slightly heavier Los Osos series soils in Paso Robles, which have proven to be the perfect medium for growing lush, flavorful Merlot.
This versatile wine pairs well with grilled sausage, vegetable shish kebob, or a dish of creamy spinach and tomato tortellini.
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For two generations, the Lohr family and their team have been leaders in California winegrowing. Founder Jerry Lohr and his three children Steve, Cynthia, and Lawrence oversee one of the country’s most successful and trusted fine wine labels. With first plantings in Monterey in 1972 and then in Paso Robles in 1986, the J. Lohr team helped write the book on sustainable winegrowing on the Central Coast.
Today, J. Lohr farms more than 4,000 acres of estate vineyards in Monterey’s Arroyo Seco and Santa Lucia Highlands appellations, Paso Robles, and St. Helena in the Napa Valley. J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines produces eight tiers of award-winning releases: J. Lohr Signature Cabernet Sauvignon, J. Lohr Cuvée Series, J. Lohr Vineyard Series, J. Lohr Gesture, J. Lohr Pure Paso Proprietary Red Wine, J. Lohr Estates, J. Lohr Monterey Roots, and ARIEL Vineyards. J. Lohr was honored with the 2020 Green Medal Leader Award in recognition of the company’s decades-long commitment to sustainability.
Paso Robles has made a name for itself as a source of supple, powerful, fruit-driven Central Coast wines. But with eleven smaller sub-AVAs, there is actually quite a bit of diversity to be found in this inland portion of California’s Central Coast.
Just east over the Santa Lucia Mountains from the chilly Pacific Ocean, lie the coolest in the region: Adelaida, Templeton Gap and (Paso Robles) Willow Creek Districts, as well as York Mountain AVA and Santa Margarita Ranch. These all experience more ocean fog, wind and precipitation compared to the rest of the Paso sub-appellations. The San Miguel, (Paso Robles) Estrella, (Paso Robles) Geneso, (Paso Robles) Highlands, El Pomar and Creston Districts, along with San Juan Creek, are the hotter, more western appellations of the greater Paso Robles AVA.
This is mostly red wine country, with Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel standing out as the star performers. Other popular varieties include Merlot, Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot, Syrah, Grenache and Rhône blends, both red and white. There is a fairly uniform tendency here towards wines that are unapologetically bold and opulently fruit-driven, albeit with a surprising amount of acidity thanks to the region’s chilly nighttime temperatures.
With generous fruit and supple tannins, Merlot is made in a range of styles from everyday-drinking to world-renowned and age-worthy. Merlot is the dominant variety in the wines from Bordeaux’s Right Bank regions of St. Emilion and Pomerol, where it is often blended with Cabernet Franc to spectacular result. Merlot also frequently shines on its own, particularly in California’s Napa Valley. Somm Secret—As much as Miles derided the variety in the 2004 film, Sideways, his prized 1961 Château Cheval Blanc is actually a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.