J. Lohr South Ridge Syrah 2016
Varietal aromas of blueberry and black tea are lifted by barrel aging on lees in a 60/40 blend American and French oak barrels. A touch of white pepper on the palate opens up slowly to reveal baking spice and pomegranate fruit on the finish.
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.
Marked by an unmistakable deep purple hue and savory aromatics, Syrah makes an intense, powerful and often age-worthy red. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah achieves its maximum potential in the steep village of Hermitage and plays an important component in the Red Blends of Southern Rhône, adding color and structure to Grenache and Mourvèdre. Syrah is the most widely planted grape of Australia and is important in California and Washington. Sommelier Secret—Such a synergy these three create together, the Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre trio often takes on the shorthand term, “GSM.”