Not too long ago, a friend emailed me a list of bottles he had in his cellar and the two questions I hear a lot: “How long can I cellar this?” and “Is this still drinkable?”  One such bottle on that list was the J. Lohr Seven Oaks Estates Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon 2008.

This is a standard Cab Sauv that most people have in their cellar as its reasonable inexpensive, cellarable for 7-10 years after bottling and has, over the years; been extensively reviewed and tasted by both novice and expert alike.  At LCBO/Vintages outlets for ~$22/btl, it may be a bit of a higher-ended moderately-priced splurge for some.

Both bright and lustrous, the aromas of this deep red vino leap from the glass to fill the nose with black fruits and berries. Essences of  vanilla and other deep toasty notes linger before the sipping.  The mouth-filling body is silky smooth with the same flavors carrying through to a slightly oily finish of tar and violets.

Yes, the feeling in the mouth is nice to start, but there just seems to be something over-worked and stressed.  The softness of the tannin feels clammy on the tongue.  This leads to a flabby and fatty smooth feeling like a big lick of margarine just coated the palate with oil.

Drawing on my tasting memories of various other California Cabs, I’m left feeling very blah about this wine.  After writing this review, I searched for others’ tastings to see if I’m not the only one to feel disappointed.  The sentiment is about 70/30 pro/con.

Sorry J. Lohr.  I can’t in good vinoconscience recommend this to my readers.  You guys talk a big game full of hype and popularity, but this wine doesn’t follow though.



**image credit: The Winery.  Republished under Fair Use Provisions for Review and Critique.

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