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 2017 La Jota Merlot showcases dark ripe berries, black cherry, and espresso bean. A broad textural impact charms the mid-palate and classic Howell Mountain minerality drives the long, opulent finish.
Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Robert Parker Wine Advocate, October 2019
The 2017 La Jota Cabernet Franc is perfumed with black and red fruit with hints of espresso bean and thyme. The palate is structured and expansive with a long finish. Incredibly approachable now, the 2017 will continue to develop beautifully for years to come
The inaugural vintage of our La Jota W.S. Keyes Vineyard Chardonnay comes from a cherished vineyard block planted in the historic W.S. Keyes Vineyard in 1999. This wine showcases the Chardonnay variety first and foremost while bringing the Howell Mountain terroir to life. With screaming minerality, refreshing acidity, and notes of white peach, crisp pear, and freshly baked bread, this is a Chardonnay that is ready to drink now, but also built to age.
The 2017 vintage started with a wet winter followed by a somewhat dry spring and early summer. With plenty of water and nutrients in the soils, the vines responded beautifully during the ripening period. In early September, a heat spell temporarily stalled the vine’s ability to ripen, but as temperatures dropped the vines recovered and ultimately achieved optimal ripeness, leading to a glorious harvest.
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.