2010 Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon
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.
Current Tasting Notes
"La Jota's cooler temperatures, wetter climate, iron-volcanic soils, and forests filled with conifers make Howell Mountain one of Napa's most Bordeaux like appellations and a place where Cabernet based wines shine. This Cabernet showcases anise and blackberry fruit with notes of pine and toast, combined with great textural length and a lingering finish."