Showing posts with label paso-robles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label paso-robles. Show all posts

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  • Wednesday, May 6, 2020

J. Lohr Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 (California) - Wine Review

To follow the popular J. Lohr Riverstone Chardonnay that I opened last week, wine review is a California Cabernet Sauvignon that is the most popular red in the VINTAGES Essentials Collection. Like the Chardonnay, this Cali Cab is widely available in the VINTAGES section at LCBO outlets across Ontario, and is also available online for pick-up or delivery.

After an extensive search in the late 1960's to find an ideal location for his first vineyard, Jerry Lohr, founder of J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines, settled in the Central Coast, an area that was just beginning to explore its potential for winegrowing. In the early 1970's, Jerry planted his first vineyard in Monterey County’s Arroyo Seco district.

A decade later, Jerry Lohr recognized the potential for growing Bordeaux varietals, especially Cabernet Sauvignon, further south in Paso Robles. In 1986, he began planting Cabernet Sauvignon and other red varietals in San Luis Obispo County's little-known Paso Robles region. With the hands-on devotion of an artisan farmer, Jerry tended to the vines while diligently working toward the creation and development of an adjacent winery and barrel cellar that opened in 1988.

Today, J. Lohr farms over 2,700 acres of vineyards in Paso Robles, a region now recognized as one of the world’s best spots for Cabernet Sauvignon and other Bordeaux and Rhône varietals. Nearly all of the red wines in the J. Lohr portfolio come from their sustainably-farmed Paso Robles vineyards. Still family-owned and operated, J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines is one of the industry’s most respected wine brands.

This red wine gets its name from blocks 2 and 4 of Cabernet Sauvignon that were some of the original sources for this iconic wine 30 years ago and featured views of a stand of seven majestic oak trees, which still thrive today. The grapes for this wine predominantly come from their estate vineyards in Paso Robles, directly opposite their J. Lohr Paso Robles Wine Center and two newer sites just to the north. The region is known for its rich, well-drained, gravelly, and sometimes chalky limestone soils, as well as its semi-arid climate and dramatic diurnal temperature swings of 50°F degrees between warm days and cool nights. This diurnal fluctuation is key to the region's trademark, intense varietal character. The 2017 vintage is remembered as a restorative vintage as it broke an unprecedented 5-year drought conditions throughout California.

J. Lohr Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 (86 pts)

Tasting Note:

J. LOHR SEVEN OAKS CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2017 - Paso Robles, California, USA (#656561) (D) - $23.95
The medium+ intensity nose offers slightly confected aromas of ripe plum, black cherry, currant, blueberry, sweet oak spice, and savoury earthy tones with touches of leafy herbs and mint. The full-bodied palate is notably sweet with flavours of chocolate, sweet, vanillin oak and ripe black cherry and currant notes. Acids are well-balanced while rounded tannins are soft, fine-grained and a touch drying with each passing sip. Earthy, chocolate, and coffee notes linger on the finish, with very good length. Blend of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petite Sirah, 5% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, and 1% Syrah. Crowd pleasing California Cab. Score: 86 pts

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  • Saturday, October 26, 2019

Chronic Cellars Purple Paradise 2017 (California) - Wine Review

Want something for your Halloween party? You might want to look at tonight's red wine review that is sure to please your guests with it's Halloween-themed label. It just arrived at the LCBO and is widely available across Ontario, just in time for Halloween festivities.

It is produced by Chronic Cellars, a California winery that came together in 2004 when brothers Josh and Jake Beckett combined their winemaking skills with their wit and humour to turn an idea into reality using two tons of the best – or 'chronic' – grapes to make killer wine.

The Beckett brothers grew up in a wine family in Paso Robles and helped by washing barrels, punching down fermenting grapes, and working the bottling line. It was only natural that one day they would make their own wine.

Chronic Cellars' philosophy is to use the best, or 'chronic', grapes to make seriously good wine for people who don’t take themselves too seriously. They have partnered with neighbours and friends in Paso Robles to build an network of growers, allowing Josh to select the grapes he wants for all of his custom, intriguing blends, including this Purple Paradise. The labels are created by Joe Kalionzes, a childhood friend and artist whose style and graphic linocuts perfectly capture their double-take vision for the brand.

While the label of this wine and it's well-timed arrival in Ontario evokes images of Halloween, the vision for Purple Paradise actually appeared when they were in their own paradise - Mexico. Purple represents the juice, while Paradise represents how you feel when drinking it. Sit back, relax, and float away to your own paradise.

Chronic Cellars Purple Paradise 2017 (85 pts)

Tasting Note:

CHRONIC CELLARS PURPLE PARADISE 2017 - Paso Robles, California, USA (#012011) (D) - $21.95
This blend of 78% Zinfandel, 9% Petite Sirah, 7% Syrah, and 6% Grenache has a fresh, aromatic nose of cherries, spice, strawberry, and a touch brambly, surrounded by vanilla and cocoa notes. The full-bodied palate is confected with sweet spice and vanilla, followed by blueberry, cherry, and strawberry flavours. Acids are fresh and balanced, while tannins are supple with a touch of textural grip. Good length on the finish with sweet vanillin oak and some earthy characters. Crafted for mass appeal. Score: 85 pts

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  • Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Hope Family Wines - Portfolio Tasting

Hope Family Wines
I had the pleasure of tasting some new wines from the Hope Family Wines portfolio.

The Hope family arrived in Paso Robles (California) in 1978 and current President Austin Hope, at the age of 8 years, began learning in the vineyards alongside his father, Chuck Hope.

In the late 1980's, the Hope Family began selling their grapes to Chuck Wagner of the famous Caymus Vineyards, to produce Wagner's second label - Liberty School. In the mid-90's, the Hope Family acquired the Liberty School label from Chuck Wagner.

Hope Family Wines now encompasses five brands: Liberty School, Treana (est. 1996 and symbolizes the 3 natural elements: the sun, the soil and the ocean), Austin Hope (high-end, hand-crafted wines inspired by northern Rhône), Candor (multi-vintage Zinfandel and Merlot) and Troublemaker (multi-vintage GSM-blends).

The winery continues to be family-owned and operated, while being actively involved within the community. They have their own vineyards, but do source grapes from nearly 50 growers with an eye towards sustainable growing practices. To soften the filtration process of the wine, they recently purchased a made-in-Italy cross-flow filtering machine. Their 2010 Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon (wine review below) has gone through this machine and the results look very good as it does appear to have more clarity and refinement.

All of these wines (except for the Troublemaker, unfortunately) can be purchased via Trialto Wine Group. Many of these are (or will be soon) available in the Vintages section at the LCBO.

Lineup of Hope Family Wines
Tasting Notes:
LIBERTY SCHOOL CHARDONNAY 2011 - Central Coast, California, USA (#960120) (XD) - $18.95
Consisting of 90% Chardonnay, 5% Viognier, and for the first time 5% Marsanne. Crisp orchard fruit, pear and earth aromas. Full bodied and dry with a creamy mouthfeel and oily texture. Very nice flavours of apple, pear, butter and sweet vanillan. Quite well-balanced with lively acidity. Finish is medium-length. Will be in Vintages on March 30th. Score: 88+ pts

LIBERTY SCHOOL CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2010 - Paso Robles, California, USA (#738823) (XD) - $19.95
Part of the Vintages Essentials collection (i.e. always available). The 2010 just reached the shelves this weekend - if the 2009 is also available, take notice of the new label - it looks much sharper and cleaner! Lovely crushed black fruit, red cherries and cedar oak aromas. Medium-bodied with nice aromas replays on palate, with hints of blueberries and cocoa on the long, smooth finish. Has mouth-watering acidity and velvety tannins. Very nice! Score: 90 pts

LIBERTY SCHOOL SYRAH 2010 - Central Coast, California, USA (#942383) (XD) - $18.95
Was featured as part of the California Trends section of the latest Vintages release and contains small amounts of Viognier. Aromas of dark fruits, mushroom smoked meat, and violet. More dark fruits and violet on the palate, plus blackberry notes. Full-bodied with grippy tannins that are a bit tight. Could use 1-2 years to unwind. Smooth, medium-long finish that's well-balanced. Score: 87 pts

CANDOR LOT 3 ZINFANDEL (NV) - California, USA (#133389) (D) - $21.95
A blend of grapes from Paso Robles and Lodi appellations, from the 2008 (6%), 2009 (78%) and 2010 (16%) vintages. Smells very green with ripe fruits and sour cherry aromas. Medium-bodied, slightly off-dry with notes of raisins, red plums and is slightly jammy. Good acidity with medium-length finish. Will be in Vintages on March 30th. Score: 88

TREANA RED 2009 - Paso Robles, California, USA (#011221) (D) - $39.95
A blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Syrah and high 15% alc/vol. Dark fruits and sweet vanillan aromas. Full bodied with grippy tannins and very good acidity. More dark fruits, black cherry and oak on the palate with hints of mocha. Has a long finish. Drinking well now, but can be enjoyed over the next 5 years. Score: 90 pts

TROUBLEMAKER (NV) - Paso Robles, California, USA (#) (XD) - $24.95
A blend of 4 grapes (67% Syrah, 22% Mourvedre, 8% Grenache, 3% Petite Sirah) from the 2010 and 2011 vintages. 14.5% alc/vol. Intense smoke and fresh wood plank aromas with undertones of sour cherry. Medium-bodied with flavours of black pepper, raspberry, oak and lots of pepper on the mid-palate. Very well-balanced with very good acidity and a smooth, medium-long finish. Score: 89+ pts

TREANA WHITE 2009 - Central Coast, California, USA (#011247) (M) - $29.95
Fresh floral aromas, plus pineapple and honeysuckle. Medium-bodied with an oily texture. Palate consists of lemon, orange rind and some evident French oak ageing. Nice, long finish. Score: 89 pts.
Lineup of Hope Family Wines

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