What a disappointment. And I am one of the World’s biggest JLohr fans. This one just totally misses COMPLETELY. Dark staining Concorde-Grape purple with flourescent pink edges. The most miserable, cheap, plastic, cloying, fruit-forward nuance you have ever smelled come crashing out at you. It really is hard to say if it is the absolutely disgusting 2-Buck-Chuck bouquet which offends or if it is JUST. ABSOLUTELY. NOT. AT. ALL. what you are expecting when you cram your nose into this thing. Let me put this into perspective for you. I could have bought HILLTOP, a YEAR OLDER, for HALF THE PRICE. There’s some shocking economics right there. Hilltop is a great wine. Year after year after year it pleases with its some-what over-extracted, jammy, yummy fruit and piles of rich oak. I’ve also had all three of the POM-series on several occasions and THEY are amazing wines as well. Carol’s I have been somewhat mixed on over the years, and even though I have found it disappointing–as a Napa cab–several times, I would take it ANY DAY over this clunker. I have CASES of Los Osos Merlot in my cellar. What I’m driving at is, at some point in my life I have had ALL of J. Lohr’s wines and–in addition to several of them being favorites of mine–they are all solid bottles.
First of all, I bought this at a very nice restaurant off the ‘Reserve’ list. It is a 2012. Now, there’s so many things wrong with those two sentences I can’t even type fast enough. I CLEARLY am missing the point on what the winery intended this wine to represent by jamming a TWO THOUSAND TWELVE cab blend into a silk-screened, gilded, 1200g bottle with a stunning closure, writing “Limited-Production 40 Year Anniversary” on the label, DOUBLING the price-tag of ANY of the normal high-end cabs mentioned above, and getting it on my table right now. Do the math on that. It is August 1, 2014. This thing was picked probably in October, 2012. ‘Reserve’ indeed. And normally I do not squawk a lot about price, and value, and all that–I do not mind paying good money for wine–but this time I am: Because I feel completely OFFENDED by the price-point on this thing. I was absolutely, totally TOOK by JLohr on this one and I am BUTTHURT. Let me reiterate: I could have bought a 2011 JLohr Hilltop off the same restaurant menu–albeit not on the ‘Reserve’ page–for half the price of this. Do you know what JLohr Hilltop costs in a good restaurant?!?!?!
Where were we? Oh yes. Let’s decant this thing, shall we? OK, an hour later: The most cheap, disgusting, stainless-steel 5$ rosey, Gamay nose on the planet. I’ve had FETZER that smelled better than this. Thin on entry, un-elegant all over the place. A little oak in the background and over-bearing tannin smashes everything else down. Now, I’ve had young cabs. Granted, most of them were still in barrel at this one’s age. This doesn’t taste like any 2yo cabs I’ve had. It is 30% Petite Sirah, which I am pretty much blaming a fair chunk of this wine’s problems on. But wait. Scroll down and there was that remarkable San Marcos Creek wine JUST A COUPLE DAYS AGO and wasn’t it, like, 22% PS?!?!? So boo on you, JLohr. I still love you, k? Kisses! Mean it. But sorry, Jerry. This wine blows chunks. And I think you should send me a couple bottles of POM or a mini-vertical of Hilltop to make the pain go away. 14-8 ◊