J Lohr 2019 Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon

Tasting notes
Quite delicious in that New World way! Dark and dense in colour with aromas of dark fruits accented by an authentic barrel-aged bouquet and a palate red berry fruit, bright acidity and a full-mouth-feel that is both dense and soft at the same time. Ideal with grilled meats and hard cheeses.

Why we recommend this wine
We first tasted this wine many years ago whilst on business in Silicon Valley (they have a tasting centre in San Jose) and drank it that night at a steakhouse. It seems to be on the wine list of every steakhouse in the USA and is a never-disappointed, value-for-money buy.

The wine
82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petite Sirah, 5% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot and 1% Syrah primarily from the Paso Robles AVA on the Californian Central Coast region. Fermented in stainless steel tanks, it then undergoes Malolactic fermentation and is aged for 12 months in 60-gallon American oak barrels, 22% new; predominantly Missouri and Minnesota oak with toasted heads. Powerful with 14.4% ABV but only 0.15 g/100ml residual sugar. The wine gets its name from the original vineyards, which 30 years ago featured views of a stand of seven majestic oak trees, which still thrive today.

The wine estate
In the late 1960s, Jerry Lohr began an extensive investigation of California grape growing regions – searching for the ideal location for his first vineyard. Jerry was raised on a South Dakota farm; his agricultural roots armed him with an innate sense for the relationship between climate, soil, and location. His research and instincts led him to the California Central Coast, an area that had not yet emerged as one of North America’s world-class winegrowing regions. With little history or viticultural precedent, planting on the Central Coast was a gamble. Lohr is still family-owned and operated today.
J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines was named the 2020 recipient of the Green Medal Leader Award. The annual California Green Medal Sustainable Winegrowing Awards provide recognition to vineyards and wineries who are standard-bearers in implementing the three “E’s” of sustainability: environment, economic, and social equity. Ground cover crops, owls, bees, water conservation and solar power form the core of their sustainability practices.

Food and wine
Weighty and fruity so grilled meats, roast root vegetables, hearty stews and sharp hard cheeses suit the wine best. Also see our guide to pairing food and wine here.

Did you know?
Paso Robles is ideal for growing Bordeaux varietals, especially Cabernet Sauvignon – given the area’s rich soils and dramatic diurnal temperature swings between warm days and cool nights. A large diurnal range can help grapes to ripen in a more balanced way. Warmer daytime temperatures help to foster sugar development, but cool nights can help to preserve aromas, freshness and acidity. This is one reason why vineyards in hot climates may still produce fresh, aromatic wines.