J. Lohr Wildflower Valdiguie 2021
An enticing and little-known French grape has found its perfect New World home among Monterey’s coastal lupines and poppies. Chill a red? Yes! And pair it with just about anything. Now, you’re in the know... Served slightly chilled, displays inviting fresh raspberry, cranberry, and pomegranate aromas, with a bit of black pepper and hibiscus. Flavors of brambly, bright red berry with a touch of spice, mid-palate acidity, and a juicy, mouth-watering finish.
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.
A geographic and climatic paradise for grape vines, Monterey is a part of the greater Central Coast AVA and contains within it five smaller sub-appellations, including Arroyo Seco, San Lucas, San Bernabe, Hames Valley and the famous Santa Lucia Highlands. The climate is relatively warm but tempered by cool, coastal winds, allowing the regions in Monterey County an exceptionally long growing season. Bud break often happens two weeks sooner and harvest tends to be two weeks later compared to other surrounding regions.
Monterey’s coastal side, where the cooling ocean fog allows grapes to develop a perfect sugar-acid balance, excels in the production of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Riesling. Warmer, inland subzones are home to fleshy, concentrated and full-bodied reds like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Zinfandel.
Chardonnay, covering about 40% of vineyard acreage, is the most widely planted grape in all of Monterey County.
Native to Southwest France, Valdiguié also maintains a fairly substantial history in California. Given its high-yielding capacity, Valdiguié became very popular during the Prohibition. Until 1980, Californians called it Napa Gamay because of its similarities to Gamay as a finished wine. But in that year, a French ampelographer, Pierre Galet correctly identified it as Valdiguié—not Gamay. Today it still grows in pockets of respected appellations throughout the state. Somm Secret—In France it is also called Gros Auxerrois.