On the palate, the 2016 La Jota Cabernet Sauvignon has blackberry, rosemary, subtle Asian spice, and a hint of Petit Verdot that rounds out the flavors. With a great mid palate weight and earthy tannic structure, there is no doubt you are drinking a Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon.
Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Robert Parker Wine Advocate, October 2018
The 2016 La Jota Merlot encompasses all that is mountain Merlot with a structure to relish. Notes of espresso, dark chocolate, and toast follow ripe blackberry, minerality, and weight on the palate.
On the palate, the 2016 La Jota Cabernet Franc has an approachable gravelly minerality followed by herbal aromatics. Notes of anise, blackberry, and black tea are carried by an impressive mouthfeel and long drawn out finish.
This wine, made to honor Howell Mountain vineyard pioneer W.S. Keyes, comes from some of the most highly prized Merlot vineyard land in the country. Winfield S. Keyes first planted grapes in this rugged vineyard in 1888, noting that the rocky, shallow soils here reminded him of Mediterranean islands near Sicily. Very much like his neighbor, the La Jota Vineyard Co., he was convinced that Howell Mountain’s high altitude and abundant sunlight could produce wines of great depth, complexity and ageability.
The 2016 vintage had an early beginning as we had a near perfect spring season. The growing conditions during the summer had few extremes, however, the ripening period was almost ideal with a brief late September heat spike. Just a touch of rain rounded out the end of October wrapping up a great season overall. In the bottle, the W.S. Keyes Merlot shows rich mocha, blackberry, and blueberry pie that capture the classic La Jota combination of intense fruit and complexity. The finish is structured with a well-balanced acidity.
The 2016 W.S. Keyes Merlot will be released on February 5.