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
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.
This wine showcases the Chardonnay variety first and foremost while bringing the Howell Mountain terroir to life. Displaying an elegantly soft touch of new French oak, this Chardonnay’s foremost identity is derived from the volcanic soils from which it is grown. An unmistakable minerality is interlaced with pear, white peach, and bright citrus notes. Stirred on its lees for 18 months, this Chardonnay’s mouthfeel is luxurious and perfectly balanced by an acid profile that elongates the flavors well beyond the sip.
Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Robert Parker Wine Advocate, January 2021