Beginning In the late 1960s, Jerry Lohr began searching for a great location plant his first vineyard. Originally raised on a South Dakota farm, Jerry had a background in agriculture and chose the Central Coast, which was an experimental region at the time. Jerry has created an amazing success story with his winery, J. Lohr. While J. Lohr has gained a nationwide reputation for rich red wines, their white wine portfolio is not to be overlooked. A few months back I had the chance to sit down with their white wine winemaker, Kristen Barnheisel, and chat about their white wine releases. She talked about how cool nights even in the summer affect the acidity in her wines. J. Lohr has a range of wines, from limited production wines to 8,000 case production wines. Her vast knowledge of wines was evident as she has had previous stints at Columbia Crest as well as Jordan before coming to J. Lohr. Look to her 2015 J.Lohr ‘October Night’ Chardonnay (WWB, 90) which is a rich and layered effort.
The red wines by J. Lohr were also excellent and displayed wonderful depth and concentration. An outstanding Petite Sirah release is their 2014 J. Lohr ‘Tower Road’ Petite Sirah (WWB, 90) which is a dense and burly effort that is nearly impossible to resist right now. Even better was the 2013 J. Lohr ‘Cuvee Pau’ Red Wine (WWB, 92) which is a beautifully structured and rich effort that will cellar well into the next decade. Learn more about this outstanding lineup at https://www.jlohr.com Here are the outstanding new wines by J. Lohr.
2016 J. Lohr Sauvignon Blanc- This bright Sauvignon Blanc wine begins with bright aromatics of gooseberry, kiwi, white peach and Key lime. There are ripe flavors of pink grapefruit, Meyer lemon zest and kiwi. This has lovely intensity. Drink 2017-2021-88
2016 J. Lohr 'RVG' White Wine- This wine is sourced from the Gean Vineyard in Paso Robles. It is an impressive blend of Roussanne, Viognier and Grenache Blanc. The wine opens with a ripe bouquet of cantaloupe, green papaya, and nutmeg accents. The weight is lovely as this wine shows cantaloupe, white peach, starfruit and baking spice flavors. The wine has a gorgeous texture. Drink 2017-2022- 90
2016 J. Lohr 'Riverstone' Chardonnay- The wine was aged for 7 months in 30% new oak prior to bottling. This wine is sourced from Vineyards in the Arroyo Seco region in Monterrey county. This has bright aromatics of banana, pineapple and vanilla cream. This leads to ripe flavors of vanilla, heavy whipping cream, creme brulee and a cream driven finish. This wine is a really good value at this price point. Drink 2017-2022- 89
2015 J. Lohr 'October Night' Chardonnay- This wine was aged for 10 months in 50% new French oak prior to bottling. This is primarily clone 809 Chardonnay. It opens with aromatics of white peach, honeysuckle and suggestions of lychee and creme brulee. There are deep flavors of vanilla cream, Meyer lemon rind and bananas foster. This has lovely texture. Drink 2017-2022- 90
2015 J. Lohr 'Arroyo Vista' Chardonnay- This Chardonnay wine is primarily sourced with Dijon 76 clone with a touch of Dijon 95 and 96. This was aged for 14 months in 50% new French oak prior to bottling. There are ripe aromas of banana, pineapple, Pink Lady apple and starfruit with nutmeg. The palate is viscous and lithe showcasing creme brulee, Pazzaz apple, poached pear and baking spices. This is beautifully balanced showing great poise and mid-palate weight. Drink 2017-2024- 91
2015 J. Lohr Merlot- The wine starts with ripe aromas of red cherry preserves and red currant with a touch of toasty oak. Round and plush, the wine delivers rich flavors of baking spices, milk chocolate and black cherry syrup. Drink 2017-2021- 89
2015 J. Lohr Cabernet Sauvignon- The Cabernet delivers dark fruit aromas with a touch of milk chcoolate. Dark berries connect with dark chocolate shavings and a touch of scorched earth. Drink 2017-2021- 88
2015 J. Lohr ‘Hilltop’ Cabernet Sauvignon- This outstanding wine begins with aromatics reminiscent of mocha, anise and creme de cassis. Rich and intense, yet showing wonderful freshness, the wine delivers dark cherry, loganberry and milk chocolate flavors with cassis. Lithe and delicious, enjoy this outstanding new release over the next decade. Drink 2017-2027- 91
2013 J. Lohr ‘Cuvee Pau’ Red Wine- Showing an inky color, this red blend begins with aromas of Turkish coffee, black cherry syrup and a touch of milk chocolate. The mid-palate weight is fantastic as this reveals black raspberry cordial, mocha and creme de cassis flavors that sit alongside some nice minerality. Drink 2017-2027- 92
2014 J. Lohr ‘Tower Road’ Petite Sirah- This deep hued wine begins with aromas of dark chocolate, loganberry preserves and suggestions of roasted figs. Dense and chewy, there is a wonderful weight to this wine. Dark berry flavors dance with a nice structure and a touch of milk chocolate. This is an excellent Petite Sirah made by J. Lohr that is best enjoyed in the next few years. Drink 2017-2022- 90