NEWS & EVENTS: Accolades

Heritage Release Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon

In honor of the long heritage of La Jota wines on Howell Mountain, we have renamed the annual Anniversary Release to the Heritage Release with the 2005 vintage. These wines are treasured collectables.

2007 La Jota Heritage Release Cabernet Sauvignon

92+ Points Robert M. Parker, Jr. The Wine Advocate December 2009 "The finest wine yet made under Jess Jackson's leadership is the 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Heritage Release. This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, which comes from the finest parcels of the La Jota vineyard, spends 22 months in new French oak. It is a seriously-endowed wine meant for collectors/connoisseurs who have the patience to wait it out. An inky/blue/purple hue is accompanied by aromas of boysenberries, blueberries, black raspberries, and blackberries. The wine exhibits lots of minerality, a certain floral character, full-bodied power, a boatload of tannin, sweet, dense, rich fruit, and good structure, ripeness, and length. Give it 4-6 years of cellaring and drink it over the following 20-25 years..."

2007 La Jota Heritage Release Cabernet Sauvignon

91+ Points Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Celler, May 2010 "(100% cabernet sauvignon) Good deep ruby. Cassis, violet and licorice aromas are complicated by oaky torrefaction and lifted by a peppery element; darker and more brooding than the basic bottling. A step up in depth and sweetness but this is still a baby today. This, too, has the stuffing to support its tannins. Finishes with very good energy and length."

2005 La Jota Heritage Release Cabernet Sauvignon

89 Points Robert M. Parker Jr., The Wine Advocate, December 2008 The tannins are relatively elevated, but the wine is certainly very good. The finest of the trio is the 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Heritage, which is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from one of the original blocks, and is bottled with neither fining nor filtration. Graphite, blackberry, black raspberry, and spice aromas are followed by a closed, medium to full-bodied mouthfeel, and elevated tannins in the finish. This cuvee will be at its finest between 2010-2018.

The famed Cabernet Sauvignon Anniversary Cuvee is now called "Heritage..."

2002 La Jota 21st Anniversary Release Cabernet Sauvignon

94 Points Wine & Spirits, December 2005 The graciousness of the fruit defies the tannic weight of this wine, leaving a velvet impression, remarkably approachable for a young Howell Mountain cabernet, and extremely delicious. It's from vines the Smith family, the founders of La Jota, originally planted in the late '70s. The structure is there, underpinning the fresh black fruit, the acidity edging it with eucalyptus. Plump and satin-textured on release, this should age into a beauty. Drink 2010-'12 with a grilled rib eye."

96 Points Steve Heimoff, Wine Enthusiast, October 2007 "Classic Howell Mountain tannins, powerful and focused, but ripely sweet, frame opulent cherry, cassis, plum sauce and new oak flavors, and for all that, there’s a crisp edge of acidity that makes everything clean and bright. Drink now through 2012."

1999 La Jota 18th Anniversary Release Cabernet Sauvignon

(87-88) Points Robert M. Parker Jr., The Wine Advocate, December 2000 The dense purple-colored 1999 Cabernet Sauvignon 18th Anniversary Release offers a sweet nose of cassis, earth, herbs, and minerals. In the mouth, it is muscular and austere, with firm, high tannin in addition to a compressed finish. It will need 3-4 years of cellaring when released, and should easily evolve for 15 years.

1998 La Jota 17th Anniversary Release Cabernet Sauvignon

(88-90) Points Robert M. Parker Jr., The Wine Advocate, January 2000 I suspect the dark ruby/purple-colored 1998 Cabernet Sauvignon 17th Anniversary Release will be among the more precocious wines made under this designation. There are usually 1,200 cases of this offering. The lighter-styled 1998's cassis, coffee, and foresty aromas are followed by a layered, rich, excellent wine with good depth, sweet fruit, and supple tannin. It will be uncommonly forward when released, and capable of lasting 10-15 years.

1997 La Jota 16th Anniversary Release Cabernet Sauvignon

93 Points Robert M. Parker Jr., The Wine Advocate, January 2000 The sensational black/purple-colored 1997 Cabernet Sauvignon 16th Anniversary Release is closed, but its emerging aromas of charcoal, blackberries, cassis, and minerals are promising. The wine is intense, ripe, with a layered, expansive richness, and exotic notes of Asian spices, beef blood, and assorted black fruits. Anticipated maturity: 2004-2025.

1996 La Jota 15th Anniversary Release Cabernet Sauvignon

96 Points Robert M. Parker Jr., The Wine Advocate, December 1998 The 1996 Cabernet Sauvignon 15th Anniversary Release (1,050 cases produced) boasts an opaque purple color, as well as beautiful aromas of smoke, blackberries, Asian spices, charcoal, and subtle truffle-like scents. Huge, massive, and full-bodied, with phenomenal flavor extraction, and beautifully integrated tannin and acidity, this flamboyant, exceptionally well-endowed wine continues the succession of titanic wines made under this label. Anticipated maturity: 2002-2027.

1995 La Jota 14th Anniversary Release Cabernet Sauvignon

93-96 Points Robert M. Parker Jr., The Wine Advocate, June 1997 The 1995 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain 14th Anniversary Release is a thrilling example of mountain Cabernet. The opaque purple color and knock-out nose of licorice, jammy blackcurrants, smoke, and minerals is superb. Lavishly rich, with highly-extracted flavors, this massive yet impeccably well-balanced Cabernet Sauvignon should be drinkable by the turn of the century and last 25 or more years. This is gorgeous juice!

1994 La Jota 13th Anniversary Release Cabernet Sauvignon

96 Points Robert M. Parker Jr., The Wine Advocate, April 1995 The formidable 1994 Cabernet Sauvignon 13th Anniversary Release may be the finest Cabernet Sauvignon Joan and Bill Smith have yet made. It boasts an opaque purple color, followed by a smoky, toasty, mineral, and cassis-scented nose, great persistence in the mouth, massive body, and an expansive, chewy, blockbuster finish, without coming across as excessively heavy or overweight. Give it 5-6 years of cellaring, and drink it over the following 20-25 years. It is a Cabernet legend in the making!

1993 La Jota 12th Anniversary Release Cabernet Sauvignon

96 Points Robert M. Parker Jr., The Wine Advocate, December 1995 La Jota's 1993s are among the greatest successes of this vintage. The 1993 Cabernet Sauvignon 12th Anniversary Release is nearly as profound as the 1992. A compelling wine, it possesses an opaque black color, and a fabulous nose of chocolate, smoke, and cassis. Extremely full-bodied, with sweet tannin, low acidity, and fantastic concentration, this is a spectacular Cabernet Sauvignon for drinking now and over the next 25 years.

1992 La Jota 11th Anniversary Release Cabernet Sauvignon

98 Points Robert M. Parker Jr., The Wine Advocate, December 1994 The just-released 1992s from La Jota are stunning. The 1992 Cabernet Sauvignon 11th Anniversary Release (the only Cabernet aged in 100% new oak) is a spectacular wine, among the greatest Cabernet Sauvignons I have recently tasted. More >

1991 La Jota 10th Anniversary Release Cabernet Sauvignon

96 Points Robert M. Parker Jr., The Wine Advocate, December 1994 The 1991 Cabernet Sauvignon 10th Anniversary Release reveals a character similar to the 1991 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain, with richer fruit, and more sweetness and intensity on the palate. However, the tannin level is frightfully high, making this wine a candidate for drinking between 2000-2025. This is an immensely impressive Cabernet Sauvignon.