J. Lohr Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
The 2017 J. Lohr Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon shows splendid ripe fruit, cocoa powder, and graphite on the nose. The palate comes across dense, chalky and soft, with layers of black currant, mineral, and notes of toasted pastry. Delicious with rosemary-seasoned rib-eye and garlic roasted potatoes with parsnips and fennel.
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Sourced from three estate vineyards in the El Pomar, Adelaida, and Creston districts, the latest vintage of J. Lohr’s flagship Cabernet Sauvignon shows off the new Vineyard Series packaging. This is one of Paso Robles’ most luxurious Cabs, and it continues to wave a magic wand of flavor and aromatics over its juicy core of blueberry and cassis. Petit Verdot (4%) and Malbec (1%) add an echo of violets and iron minerality.
This reliable bottling offers fudge, caramel, black cherry and oak on the ripe nose. Cola and sarsparilla meet with black-cherry foam on the palate, where creamy tannins and just enough acidity carry into the finish.
Smoky and lean, this is built like a ripe Bordeaux, with a lovely tension between its oak frame and its dark purple fruit flavors. Decant it to let those flavors to meld before pouring for steak.
J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines was founded more than four decades ago by Jerry Lohr and is still family owned and operated today. Jerry and his team helped pioneer winegrowing on California’s Central Coast. Today, J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines sustainably farms 4,000+ acres of vineyards in the Monterey, Paso Robles, and Napa Valley appellations. The winery produces six distinct tiers of award-winning releases: J. Lohr Estates, J. Lohr Pure Paso™, J. Lohr Vineyard Series, J. Lohr Cuvée Series, J. Lohr Gesture, and J. Lohr Signature Cabernet Sauvignon. The J. Lohr Wine Centers in Paso Robles and San Jose welcome visitors daily.
Paso Robles has made a name for itself as a source of supple, powerful, fruit-driven 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.
A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon enjoys success all over the globe, its best examples showing potential to age beautifully for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in Bordeaux's Medoc where it is often blended with Merlot and smaller amounts of some combination of Cabernet Franc, Malbecand Petit Verdot. In the Napa Valley, ‘Cab’ is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious, age-worthy and sought-after “cult” wines. Somm Secret—DNA profiling in 1997 revealed that Cabernet Sauvignon was born from a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc in 17th century southwest France.