93 Points, Editors’ Choice /
WINE ENTHUSIAST ADVANCE BUYING GUIDE, APRIL 2021
The 2018 J. Lohr Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon is effusive with fresh varietal aromas of black cherry and hints of toasted pastry and baking spice on the nose. Dense and soft on the palate. Elegant layers of black and red currants leave a bright finish.
- Brenden Wood, red winemaker
Thanks to a “Miracle March,” the 2018 growing season will be remembered as the fourth in a string of normal rainfall years in Paso Robles. Over 70% of the season’s rainfall was accumulated in a 3-week period, which kicked off a vintage of exceptional quality and yield. A nice stretch of warm weather in May assured a good bloom and fruit set on the developing clusters. This was followed by an unprecedented 46-day heat spell beginning in early July. The result was an extended growing season, as vines slowed photosynthesis as a defense against the high temperatures.
The 2018 Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon is primarily sourced from the relatively cool El Pomar District sub- AVA in Paso Robles, where the J. Lohr Shotwell Vineyard is located. A lesser amount is from the J. Lohr Beck Vineyard, located at a 1,700 foot elevation in the Creston District. The blend also utilizes a collection of other small sites in the Paso Robles AVA. Blessed with long summer days of intense sunshine, our near 100°F daytime temperatures are followed by chilly, ocean-cooled nights in the 50s. These Cabernet vines are naturally stressed in the dry, often very gravelly, and sometimes lime shale-laden soils. Water is at a premium in these vineyards, enabling the viticulturist to fine-tune irrigation, resulting in the darkest possible fruit with resolved tannins year after year.