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J. Lohr was founded by Jerry Lohr, the son of a hard-working South Dakota farming family. In 1972 and 1973 he planted 280 acres of wine grapes including Pinot Noir in the Arroyo Seco appellation of Monterey County, and in 1974 built a winery in San Jose where the winery's white wines are produced. In 1988, a property near Paso Robles was bought, a winery built in 2001, and vineyards planted now encompassing 2,000 acres. Red wine production is done here. In that same year, Jerry expanded his vineyards in Arroyo Seco and now has there 900 acres of Chardonnay, Riesling, Valdiguié, and Pinot Noir.
Today, the winery practices sustainable winegrowing practices and is part of the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance.
J. Lohr is a family business, with Cynthia Lohr and Steve Lohr in management positions, producing over one million cases a year.
The winery has the largest solar energy tracking system in the wine industry. The system makes the winery more energy independent and saves 75% of the energy used at the winery's Paso Robles operations.
J. Lohr produces four tiers of wines: J. Lohr Cuvée Series (Bordeaux blends), J. Lohr Vineyard Series (limited-production vineyard-designated wines), J. Lohr Estates (estate fruit), and J. Lohr Gesture (Rhone-inspired). J. Lohr also produces Central Coast wines under the Cypress Vineyards label.
Founder Jerry Lohr has developed a renewed interest in Pinot Noir. A vineyard-designated Pinot Noir from Fog's Reach Vineyard in the Arroyo Seco AVA is part of the Vineyard Series.
The director of winemaking and president/COO is Jeff Meier who has been with the winery since 1984. Meier also serves as President and COO of the winery. The white winemaker beginning in 2015 is Kristen Barnhisel who previously worked at Handley Cellars and Belvedere Vineyards. Steve Peck oversees the red wine program.
A new white wine production facility was built in 2015 just outside Greenfield alongside the family's original plantings in Arroyo Seco. The winery's staging, fermentation and barrel aging areas will encompass nearly three acres, larger than two football fields. Barnhisel will preside over the Greenfield facility.
The J. Lohr wines are available through the United States and in more than 25 countries worldwide. Tasting rooms in Paso Robles (J. Lohr Paso Robles Wine Center adjacent the winery) and San Jose (J. Lohr San Jose Wine Center adjacent the winery) are open daily. The J. Lohr Vineyards Room, also in San Jose, is a private event space.
2013 J. Lohr Falcon’s Perch Monterey County Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., pH 3.71, TA 0.55, $17. Grapes are sourced from Santa Lucia Highlands (57%) and Arroyo Seco (43%). Harvest Brix 26.9º. 3-day cold soak, fermented in 12-ton lots in open-top punchdown tanks. Matured in stainless steel with 17% aged in third-fill French oak barrels. · Very dark reddish purple color in the glass. Very shy aromas of blackberry jam, anise and oak. A decadent wine that reminds of Syrah with a voluptuous core of blackberry, crème de cassis and white pepper flavors. Very plush and velvety on the palate with soft tannins. Loads of fruit but little complexity or verve. Score: 87. Reviewed July 12, 2015 ARTICLE »
2013 J. Lohr Arroyo Vista Arroyo Seco Monterey Chardonnay
14.9% alc., pH 3.51, TA 0.66, RS 0.29, 7,002 cases, $25. Estate grown composed mainly of Dijon clone 76, with small amounts of Dijon clones 95 and 548. Harvest Brix 26.9º. Whole cluster pressed, cold settled, barrel fermented, 100% malolactic fermentation, weekly stirring of lees up to 10 months post malolactic fermentation, aged in 100% French oak barrels, 54% new. · Moderately light lemon color in the glass. Shy aromas of citrus blossom, juniper berry and nut oil. Full-bodied and opulent, with ripe flavors of lemon cream pie, pineapple, grilled yellow peach and enhancing oak-driven notes of roasted nuts and caramel. There is enough sound acidity to tame the flamboyant fruit. Score: 89. Reviewed September 18, 2015 ARTICLE »
2013 J. Lohr Fog’s Reach Arroyo Seco Monterey County Pinot Noir
14.9% alc., pH 3.72, TA 0.59, 3,321 cases, $35. Estate grown clones including Dijon 115, 667 and 777, and Pommard 4. Harvest Brix 25.8º. Aged 8 months in French oak barrels, 60% new. · Dark reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of ripe black cherry and blackberry with a tug of vanilla. Full-bodied, but light on its feet and not overwrought, with a plush core of assorted dark berry flavors accented with highlights of oak-driven dark chocolate and espresso. The wine is velvety in the mouth with appealing balance, and although not particularly complex, the fruit and texture are seductive. A crowd pleaser for those who prefer the riper, bolder style of Pinot Noir typical of J. Lohr Pinot Noir offerings. Score: 89. Reviewed August 18, 2015 ARTICLE »
2012 J. Lohr Estates Falcon’s Perch Monterey County Pinot Noir
13.66% alc., pH 3.76, TA 0.70, $17. Dijon and Pommard clones. Harvest Brix 26.5º. Maturation in stainless steel with 15% aged in second fill French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Deep aromas of black cherry, strawberry jam and smoky oak. Mid weight flavors of very ripe black cherry, black raspberry, and strawberry fruit, with spice and oak intermingling in a satisfying wine with some intensity and length on the finish which is replete with cherry liquor goodness. Curiously, there were no new oak barrels used in vinification, yet oak seems to stand out. Score: 87. Reviewed July 19, 2014 ARTICLE »
2012 J. Lohr Arroyo Vista Arroyo Seco Monterey Chardonnay
14.9% alc., pH 3.56, TA0.66, 17,649 cases, $25. 100% estate fruit. Focused more on the aromatic Musqué clone. Harvest Brix 25.7º. 100% malolactic fermentation. Aged in 50% new French oak for 14 months. · Moderate golden yellow color and clear in the glass. An engaging and polished wine featuring aromas and flavors of lemon curd, yellow apple, buttery oak, and an enticing flinty minerality. Well-crafted, with a slightly cream texture and a dry, refreshing finish. Score: 91. Reviewed July 19, 2014 ARTICLE »
2012 J. Lohr Highlands Bench Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnay
14.9% alc., pH 3.64, TA 0.65, 732 cases, $25. Harvest Brix 26º. 100% estate fruit. Native and inoculated fermentation. 100% malolactic fermentation. Aged in barrel sur lie for 18 months in 51% new French oak. · Moderate golden yellow color and clear in the glass. Tropical fruits dominate the nose with softer aromas of lemon pudding and crème brûlée. The flavors echo the nose with added notes of guava, vanilla and subtle oak. Inviting crispiness and commendable balance in an easy drinking, casual style. Score: 89. Reviewed July 19, 2014 ARTICLE »
2012 J. Lohr October Night Arroyo Seco Chardonnay
14.9% alc., pH 3.59, TA 0.63, 1,995 cases, $25. 100% estate fruit. 73% Dijon clone 809 and 27% Dijon clone 95 and 96. 100% malolactic fermentation. Aged in barrel sur lie with weekly stirring for 9 months in 45% new French oak. · Moderate golden yellow color and clear in the glass. Shy aromas of buttery brioche, herbs, resin and nutty oak. A bit unusual flavor profile feature nectarine, nutmeg, citrus and vanilla. Soft and slightly creamy in the mouth with nice balance, but nothing jumps out as exceptional. Score: 88. Reviewed July 19, 2014 ARTICLE »
2012 J. Lohr Fog’s Reach Arroyo Seco Monterey Pinot Noir
14.9% alc., pH 3.75, TA 0.59, 3,340 cases, $35. Harvest Brix 27.2º. High percentage of clone 667. 8 days maceration on average. Aged 8 months in 50% new medium to heavy toast French oak. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Clean aromas of dark stone fruits and berries with a compliment of toasty oak. Quite tasty mid weight attack of black raspberry, blackberry, strawberry and Hoison sauce flavors. Nicely integrated tannins and a pleasing finish leaving behind some cedary oak in its wake. Score: 88. Reviewed July 19, 2014 ARTICLE »
2011 J. Lohr Falcon’s Perch Monterey County Pinot Noir
13.63% alc., pH 3.79, TA 0.54, 19,800 cases, $17. From select vineyards in the Arroyo Seco region. Dijon clones are the backbone. 76% Pinot Noir and 24% Valdiguié (winemaker Steve Peck says Valdiguié goes beautifully with Pinot Noir). After a 3-day cold soak, fermented in 6- ton and 12-ton lots in open-top punch down tanks. Light pump overs with daily punch downs for 5 to 10 days. 100% MLF. Matured in stainless steel with 10% aged in neutral French oak barrels. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Lovely nose with aromas of dark berries, rose petals, and exotic spices that retain interest over time. Delicious and entirely seductive, with flavors of dark cherry and berry with complimentary notes of spice, anise and oak. Soft in the mouth, with mild tannins, commendable balance, and very respectable finishing intensity. The addition of Valdiguié gives this wine a unique flavor profile that is quite interesting. A superlative value priced wine that is widely available in the retail marketplace. Score: 90. Reviewed July 21, 2013 ARTICLE »
2011 J. Lohr October Night Arroyo Seco Monterey Chardonnay
14.9% alc., pH 3.58, TA 0.66, 1,693 cases, $25. 60% Dijon 809 (Musqué clone) blended with clone 76. 100% barrel fermented in 45% new Francois Frères French oak barrels using native yeast and aged sur lie for 12 months. · Pale golden yellow color and clear in the glass. A sophisticated offering with aromas of lemon drop, grilled peach, honeysuckle and chalk-laden soil. Plenty of fruit flavor including lemon, persimmon and white peach. The most striking feature of this wine is its oakdriven baking spice aroma and flavor. Soft, light, graceful and easy to like, the alcohol presents no notice. A terrific value considering the care and expense taken in its vinification. Very good. Reviewed June 23, 2013 ARTICLE »
2011 J. Lohr Fog’s Reach Arroyo Seco Monterey Pinot Noir
14.9% alc., pH 3.67, TA 0.58, 2,824 cases, $35. Crafted entirely from estate grapes and comes from special blocks of J. Lohr’s Arroyo Seco vineyards. High fraction of clone 667, but also 115, 777 and Pommard 4. Yields 1.7 tons per acre. Harvest Brix 25.8º. J. Lohr has a “winery within a winery” to allow production of Pinot Noir in small lots. 100% de-stemmed, cultured yeast fermentation, Malolactic inoculated in stainless steel and completed in French oak barrels. Aged 8 months in 50% new barrels. · Moderately dark reddishpurple color in the glass. Very appealing nose offering scents of black cherries, wild forest berries and dark chocolate. Juicy and lively, with tasty flavors of dark chocolate coated cherries and berries with complimentary oak in the background. A crowd pleaser with nice balance, well-mannered tannins and a mouth filling presence that doesn’t overreach. Very good. Reviewed June 23, 2013 ARTICLE »
2010 J. Lohr Arroyo Vista Vineyard Series Arroyo Seco Chardonnay
14.9% alc., pH 3.54, TA 0.67, 5,426 cases, $25. Sourced from prime Monterey vineyard acreage. Native fermentation, weekly stirring of each barrel from November 2010 to March 2011 (during MLF and five months after). Barrel-aged sur lie for 18 months in 42% new French oak barrels (mostly Francois Frères). · Light straw color and clear in the glass. Nicely perfumed with aromas of caramel apple, citrus, mossy rock, brioche and redwood. Delicious and classy, with flavors of white nectarine, lemony brioche, and pastry cream, accented with minerality. Soft in the mouth without evident tannins. A quality drink. Very good. Reviewed June 24, 2012 ARTICLE »
2010 J. Lohr Fog’s Reach Arroyo Seco Pinot Noir
14.9% alc., pH 3.78, TA 0.55, 2,427 cases, $35. Clones 115, 667, 777 and Pommard 4. Fruit was 100% de-stemmed. Aged 8 months in new and second fill French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish-purple hue in the glass. Evocative perfume of raspberry jam on toast. Richly endowed with flavors of black cap raspberries, dark strawberries, sassafras, herbs and complimentary toasty oak. An embracing wine with fruit that really draws your attention. Could use a little more acid zip. The finish goes on and on. Very good. Reviewed June 24, 2012 ARTICLE »
2009 J. Lohr Fog’s Reach Arroyo Seco Pinot Noir
14.9% alc., pH 3.62, TA 0.57, 1,113 cases, $35. Pommard 4 and Clone 777, with small amounts of 115 and 667. 100% de-stemmed, 5-day cold soak, inoculated primary and secondary fermentations, aged 8 months in 60% new and 40% third fill French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Fruit-forward nose with bright aromas of black cherries, plum reduction sauce, spice and vanillin. Well-endowed with generous sweet black stone and blackberry fruit with a prominent accent of oak and a hint of brewed tea. The mouth feel is velvety and the tannins are supple. Finishes with a little alcoholic heat. Will benefit from another year in the bottle to further integrate the oak. Source: websites, tasting rooms, retail. Good. Reviewed July 1, 2011 ARTICLE »