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La Jota Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain 2018
The wines of La Jota have deep roots in Napa Valley. Back in 1888, winemaking pioneer W.S. Keyes planted some of the first vines on Howell Mountain, and 10 years later his contemporary, Fredrick Hess, built a stone winery and established La Jota Vineyard Co., named for its location on the Mexican parcel Rancho La Jota. Both men won medals for their Howell Mountain wines in the Paris Exposition of 1900. Today, La Jota Vineyard Co. proudly carries on this great legacy with its small production mountain Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Chardonnay. All La Jota wines are sourced from the winery’s estate and from nearby W.S. Keyes Vineyard, and they capture the intense fruit and mineral complexity of these cool-climate origins.
97 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, 5% Malbec and 2% Petit Verdot, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain was aged for 22 months in oak barrels, 84% new. Deep garnet-purple coloured, it explodes from the glass with bombastic black currants, black cherries and boysenberries notes plus underlying hints of violets, dark chocolate and tobacco leaf. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has a solid structure of firm, grainy tannins and tons of freshness, finishing long and fragrant.
96 Points - James Suckling
Aromas of pine needles, asphalt, graphite and black fruit follow through to a full-bodied and chewy palate with so much tannin, giving this real Howell Mountain character. It goes on and one. Muscular and in need of time in the bottle to soften. Better after 2024.
95 Points - Jeb Dunnuck
The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon shows its Howell Mountain terroir nicely yet still has a supple, textured, elegant style that gives it plenty of upfront appeal. Beautiful cassis and darker currants, chocolate, tobacco, and cedar pencil notes emerge from the glass, and it’s medium to full-bodied, with present yet silky tannins, plenty of mid-palate depth, and a great finish, where it shows more and more tannins with time in the glass. It can be drunk today with plenty of pleasure, but smart money is on giving bottles 2-4 years of bottle age and following for 10-15.