Napa Luhrs You To Paso

IMG_20160830_191352119Beautiful bright ruby garnet with just a sliver of amber. No sediment. Tiny harsh multi-vitamin initial blows off instantly. Fruit still and warm in the nose, ripe and full but just shy of wonderful. Something always holding this one back. Thick marmalade and fresh figs–maybe a couple of them have fallen to the sidewalk, bright spots attempt to shine through but the whole package is dull. Traces of greenery spot the muddy field, but no compelling spice or *umph* beyond the obvious heat.

Bet you didn’t know J. Lohr made a Napa Valley Cabernet, did ya? I am unabashedly the world’s biggest J. Lohr fan. They can do NO WRONG in my book. It is easily in the top-5 of Paso Robles wineries and I am speaking almost exclusively of their VINEYARD SERIES line-up. But Carol’s Napa Cab has always been the weak spot in the group. I love Hillside Cab and Tower Road Petite Sirah and Fog’s Reach Pinot and Wildflower Valdigue and whatever their Chardonnay is called and have visited the Carol’s a half-dozen times in the past couple decades and just honestly never been wowwed. It’s really REALLY good wine, but compared to all the other Napa Valley Cab’s I drink, boring. And although I hate to cross-brand in a post, I can’t help but think of Beringer’s Paso Cab. Betcha didn’t know Beringer made a Paso cab, did ya? Well, Beringer’s Paso Cab pops up in my memory when I taste this as equally boring as J. Lohr’s Napa Cab. Those of you in the front rows will see the lesson to be learned here. The rest of you geographically challenged people here for WINE 101 just unfollow me now. You’re on the wrong blog.

In the mouth, full round huge ripe fruit vie with still-shining acids for a classic, round rich mouthfeel and helpings of cassis and helpings of sweet fruit. Bright chewable vitamin-type situation, candied and enticing laced with acerola and taffy. Deep and smokily brooding, showing NOTHING of it’s 11 year old age while late-cherry sweet fruit is on ELEVEN through the still-raspy finish. I don’t think this wine is heavily distributed, but if you have the chance to buy it, I will highly recommend it. It is a wine you NEED under your belt.

2005 J. Lohr Cabernet Sauvignon Carol’s Vineyard Napa Valley 14.9

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