J. Lohr Los Osos Merlot 2017
The 2017 J. Lohr Estates Los Osos Merlot is medium-dark in color with a mature red hue. Varietal aromas of black plum and violet meld with a barrel signature of hazelnut and brown baking spices, while the generous fraction of Malbec in the blend accentuates bright fruit tones and contributes a note of hibiscus flower. Firm tannins and lively acidity cascade to a lengthy red-fruit finish. Delicious with summer grilled sausages or herb-roasted chicken.
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.
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.