I judge a lot of wine competitions, and it's not surprising to see wines from J. Lohr's Paso Robles Cuvee Series take gold and double gold medals - it seems like it happens all the time, and that's a pretty good indication of just how formidable the Paso Robles Bordeaux scene has become lately. When I say 'Bordeaux Scene,' I mean wines made from a combination of traditional Bordeaux grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot.
J. Lohr has a few iterations of these blends. The 'Cuvee Pau' is loosely modeled on a Cabernet Sauvignon driven Pauillac-style left bank Bordeaux blend. The 'Cuvee St. E' is inspired by St. Emillion and Merlot plays the leading role. Likewise with the 'Cuvee Pom,' Merlot comes first.
The 2012 Cuvee Pom is a blend of mostly Merlot with Malbec, Cabernet Franc and a small amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon. Let's not kid ourselves, this is not Bordeaux. It just doesn't have that kind of restraint. This Paso red is lavish, a touch sweet and doesn't need any aging to soften up. At nearly 15% alcohol, it's loaded with delicious cassis, plum, raspberry jam, coconut, cherry and vanilla flavors that are easy to appreciate and well-balanced. Priced at $50 a bottle, it isn't cheap, but it does tend to be a very reliable wine, and more and more of the finest wines from Paso Robles are creeping up from $50 to $75 or even $100 a bottle. Among those, I'd rate this one a pretty good value. (92 points)