New Releases: 2010 J. Lohr Highlands Bench Pinot Noir & Chardonnay
Today, we are thrilled to announce the long-awaited release of two new wines to our Vineyard Series portfolio: 2010 J. Lohr Highlands Bench Pinot Noir and 2010 J. Lohr Highlands Bench Chardonnay, made from the first fruit harvested in our new vineyard plantings in the Santa Lucia Highlands appellation of Monterey County. For the next several months, these wines will be available exclusively in our tasting rooms, to our wine club members and for purchase online.
When we first introduced these wines this past weekend at our Wine Club Highlands Bench Preview events in San Jose and Paso Robles, we were asked by some folks why we’ve decided to release yet another Chardonnay and Pinot Noir to our already well-rounded portfolio. The answer is this: the styles of Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays available out there today are as diverse as the palates of wine drinkers, and these varied styles have as much to do with the growing conditions of the grapes used as they do with the winemaking techniques employed in their production.
Unlike our Arroyo Seco Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs, whose rich, Burgundian styles reflect the fog, wind, cool air and gravelly soils in which they are grown, our new 2010 J. Lohr Highlands Bench wines are markedly Californian in style, full of voluptuous fruit flavors. Grown on eastward-facing terraces on the slopes of the Santa Lucia mountains to the west of the Salinas Valley, the vines are grown at altitudes between 280 and 600 feet, are bathed in warm sunlight, and receive gentle ocean breezes off of Monterey Bay, leading to bold fruit flavors of cherry and raspberry in our J. Lohr Highlands Bench Pinot Noir and intense tropical flavors of passion fruit, pineapple and juicy, ripe peach in our J. Lohr Highlands Bench Chardonnay. To accentuate the New World styles of our Highlands Bench wines, our winemakers used several native fermentations, more malolactic fermentation and a higher percentage of new oak. As a result, these wines display beautiful, compelling structure and a lush, velvety mouthfeel.
Some of the country’s most acclaimed Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs are coming out of both the Arroyo Seco and Santa Lucia Highlands appellations. But which are better? Here at J. Lohr, we believe you are the best judge of that. This spring, we invite you to come into our J. Lohr Wine Centers in San Jose or Paso Robles for a complimentary tasting of this exciting first release of our Highlands Bench wines. We look forward to hearing about your first impressions!