South By Southwest

With the exception of the Wildflower Valdiguie, I rarely drink anything from the ‘Estates Series’ from this producer. Both the Vineyard and Cuvee Series’ are heavily appreciated, and have received copious amounts of ink on these pages. While the 7 Oaks, Falcon’s Perch and Riverstone can be appreciated for their value and consistency–and the Los Osos Merlot almost ALWAYS drinkable–these lower-priced wines are celebrated for safe, mass-appeal with a smattering of varietal quality. You almost NEVER see the Syrah. Having it show up on a wine-list otherwise COMPLETELY bereft of quality made it an instant order. And, paying $27 at a restaurant gives you pretty easy math of what retail is.

Expectantly purple in the glass, the nose rich and fruity, concentrated but safe, easily treading on cloying, but showing a bit of depth in a smoky, leathery sort of way.

Clean and nice on the palate, nothing to turn anyone aside, rich, spicy fruit on display with plenty of acid and perfectly balanced. It’s a beautiful red wine. No flaws, no disgusting Paso stew of alcohol and jammy fruit, I wouldn’t even call it especially “simple”. It’s just plain, well-made red wine, nice and dry, good, soft tannins, with entry, core and finish rife with supple blackberry and ripe cherry. It probably would even age nicely for a half-decade or better. For 10 or 15 bucks you can do a WHOLE lot worse.

2019 J. LOHR ‘South Ridge’ Syrah Paso Robles 13.9

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