The grapes for our Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon were grown in our La Jota Estate vineyard and our Keyes vineyard. La Jota vineyard is located high upon a volcanic Howell Mountain plateau overlooking Napa Valley. Our unique spot, surrounded by pines, firs, oak and madrone trees, is characterized by cool-climate terroir and winds coming up the canyon. We choose a selection of our softer-textured Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard blocks to give this wine earlier approachability, while capturing full expression of La Jota's cool-climate terroir. The Keyes vineyard, a mile down the road and with a very different terroir, provides a "pop" of bright fruit character and broader tannins. The Petit Verdot was harvested from a small planting near the winery.
The fruit from La Jota is hand-harvested into small, 30-pound boxes to prevent crushing and brought to the winery for hand sorting. After de-stemming and light crushing, the must is cold soaked for gentle color, flavor and tannin extraction. To bridle the "mountain tannins", small amounts of oxygen are introduced to the wine daily with two "splashing pump-overs" during the primary fermentation in stainless steel tanks. In-barrel malolactic fermentation rounds the acidity and softly integrates the vanillin character of the new French oak barrels. Gentle racking occurs to further enhance the wine's elegance.
"This wine is a blend of the four classic Bordeaux varieties. This blend presents calmness to the tannic signature commonly associated with the Howell Mountain appellation. On the palate, enjoy classic Howell Mountain flavors of blackberry, shale, earth, rosemary and espresso bean."
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95 points Steve Heimoff, Wine Enthusiast "Cellar Selection"
The tannins are so fierce on this baby Cabernet that they effectively lock it down and make it tough to drink now. Yet there's a fabulous... More>
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Winemaker: Christopher Carpenter
Blend Composition: 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 7.5% Cabernet Franc, 1.5% Petit Verdot
Vineyard Information: La Jota Estate Vineyard and Keyes Vineyard
Harvest Date: October 10 - November 5, 2010
Type of Fermentation: Native Yeast Fermentation, Stainless Steel tanks with two daily pump-overs
Length of Maceration: 20 days, including cold soak
Barrel Aging: 20 months in French Oak (97% new)
Alcohol: 14.5% by volume
Wine pH: 3.72
Wine Acidity: 0.59 g/100 ml
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