The Tasting Panel magazine

December 2016

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december 2016  /  the tasting panel  /  1 19 now and then, Don Adams, owner of The Eclectic, would interrupt a story to make sure we were happy. He and his wife Laura took over the restaurant a few years ago with a fresher approach, literally. "We use mostly seasonal, fresh, local ingredients," says Adams. The biggest takeaway though? Says Lohr, "Next month will be my 45th year in first buying land, and the changes in the business, if you look back, are amaz- ing. In Paso, we have the biggest diurnal difference of anywhere in California. It's incredible how early on people refer to Paso when they start talking about Cabernet." Still, Lohr would add, "we're continuing to evolve." Meier agrees: "Working with Jerry all these years, the one thing that's remained constant is that we work towards getting better and better." TASTING NOTES Prices are suggested retail. J. Lohr 2015 Carol's Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, St. Helena, Napa Valley ($24) Perfect with The Eclectic's bright, tangy artichoke soup, the gentle yet textural creamy weighted effect of the acacia wood (44% fermentation in stainless steel and 56% in French acacia barrels, 8% of which are new) sewed seamlessly into the subdued ripe citrus (pineapple, white grapefruit) and fresh marjoram; the wine ends in an almost creamy Gruber olive finish. The vineyard/wine is named in honor of Lohr's late wife, Carol, and two dollars per bottle is donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation to help provide mammograms for women in need. J. Lohr 2014 Arroyo Vista Chardonnay, Arroyo Seco, Monterey ($25) Referred to by Lohr's Director of Winemaker Jeff Meier as a "Monterey version of Burgundy," it certainly does offer the soft, bright and slightly nutty character of Meursault. Ripe tropical and stone fruits show but don't overwhelm. Roasted hazelnuts here, too. J. Lohr Estates 2015 Falcon's Perch Pinot Noir, Monterey County ($17) Intense ripe red fruits compete with tarragon, only to be smoothed over with a dollop of vanilla. This is an excellent fruit-forward, polished version of cool-climate Pinot Noir from Monterey. J. Lohr 2014 Tower Road Petite Sirah, Paso Robles ($35) Brooding blackberry and blueberry balanced by cinnamon stick spiciness and nutty coconut. The tannic character of the Petite Sirah is there but goes with the grain of the tannin, not against. J. Lohr 2013 Cuvée St. E, Paso Robles ($50) This blend of 63% Cab Franc, 25% Cab Sauvignon, 8% Merlot and 4% Malbec is a red and black fruit compote covered in mole. Raspberry, blackberry, chocolate and capsicum in a silky, sleek package. This is J. Lohr's answer to a Right Bank Bordeaux and the answer is not only correct, it's stunning. A perfect pairing with the rich, spicy and creamy rigatoni bolognese. One of my personal J. Lohr favorites. J. Lohr 2013 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles ($100) This is a very special Cabernet Sauvignon–dominant, Bordeaux-style blend aged 19 months in 100% new French oak, made in honor of Jerry Lohr's 80th birthday. The fruit is sourced from Beck Vineyard at 1,700 feet in elevation in the Creston District of Paso Robles. The result of which is a highly concentrated wine offering ripe blackberry, black cherry, cocoa powder and pencil lead presented in a lush, substantial body. Don Adams, owner of The Eclectic pours the J. Lohr 2015 Carol's Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc. A proud duo: Jerry Lohr, founder of J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines, and Jeff Meier, President/Chief Operation Officer, Director of Winemaking.

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