J. Lohr in California has been in the forefront of improved viticultural practices and site selection for more than 35 years. Now, at their semi-arid Paso Robles vineyards, they can rack up another achievement — new irrigation practices that saved the day in 2010 — one of the coldest vintages in California history.
Taste the 2010 Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon and the 2010 South Ridge Syrah: They should have been thin and green. Instead, they turned out lush, with deep color, silken tannins, no green flavors. In fact, Jeff Meier, winemaker at Lohr for 25 of the winery’s 35 vintages, says the 2010 Seven Oaks Cab, the winery’s flagship red, is perhaps the best ever produced.
J. Lohr hooked up with French viticulture consultant Xavier Chone to adopt a new strategy for irrigation: drastically reduce it. Lohr went weeks, sometimes months, not irrigating certain blocks. Some of the results in this difficult vintage include curtailed vegetative growth after fruit-set, smaller berry size and accelerated ripening.
Consultant Chone’s clients in France include Chateau d’Yquem, Cheval Blanc and Leoville-Las Cases; in California, Opus One, Dominus and Joseph Phelps.
You can find these 2010 vintages at most Kroger and Meijer stores for under $20. Yet another gift from Jerry Lohr.