Varietal aromas of black plum, black currant, and violet are elevated by a light barrel signature of baking spices and toasted pastry.
14% Malbec in the blend contributes aromatic notes of pomegranate and hibiscus flower while
bringing juiciness to the palate.
Rainfall totals were higher than average in 2019. We normally see slightly later budbreak in wet
years, which delays the bloom, veraison, and harvest stages for the entire vintages. This worked to our
advantage in 2019, as the summer heat spikes had subsided by the time we harvested our first blocks
of Merlot on October 10th. Picking continued over a three-week period, ending on October 30th.
This late and long harvest allowed us to capture the full range of this variety’s fruit expression while
developing deep extractable color and supple, plush tannins. Whole-berry fermentation enhanced bright
red-fruit character while simultaneously mitigating extraction of seed tannins.
Traditionally, we harvest our estate-grown Merlot grapes across a range of sugar ripeness. The early
picks usually capture the classic varietal definition of Merlot, while the fruit harvested later adds
depth and intensity to the wine. Clone and rootstock combinations, along with variations in soil,
add complexity to our Los Osos Merlot, as does the introduction of Italian clones of Merlot. We
grow our Merlot grapes in the moderately cool El Pomar district of Paso Robles, which is generally
acknowledged to be the ideal area for this variety in the Paso Robles AVA. Planted on Nacimiento-Los
Osos, Arbuckle-San Ysidro, and Arbuckle-Positas complex soils, these well-drained but relatively poor
soils limit vine vigor and support wine quality.
The Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing logo on the Los Osos back label attests that at least 85% of the grapes were grown on a certified sustainable vineyard and that the wine was produced in a certified sustainable winery.
- Fermentation: Whole-berry fermentation in stainless steel tanks
- Malolactic: 100% malolactic
- Maturation: 12 months in barrel with 17% new oak
- Barrel type: American oak from Missouri forests, primarily light and medium-long toast with toasted heads
The 2019 J. Lohr Estates Los Osos Merlot is medium-dark in color with a ruby hue.
This versatile wine pairs well with grilled sausage and veggie shish kabobs or creamy spinach and tomato tortellini.