About La Jota 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, Howell Mt., Napa Valley
La Jota vineyard is located high upon a volcanic Howell Mountain plateau overlooking Napa Valley. The fruit 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. Winemaker Chris Carpenter fermented the juice with native yeast in a combination of open and closed-top stainless steel tanks. Following gentle basket press, the wine underwent in-barrel malolactic fermentation, rounding the acidity and integrating the vanilla character of French oak. The wine was barrel-aged for 20 months and bottled unfined and unfiltered.
The Wine Advocate scored this 97 points saying "A blend of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc, 7% Malbec, 5% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is deep garnet-purple colored and features gregarious crème de cassis, black cherry preserves and baked plums with touches of Indian spices, cigar box and charcuterie. Full, firm and decadently fruited, it has a fantastic foundation and very long, layered and expressive finish."
Wine Enthusiast Magazine scored this 97 points saying "From the La Jota estate vineyard as well as W.S. Keyes, this impressive wine opens in coconut, chocolate and mocha. Structured tannins lead the way to generous toasted oak, clove, garrigue, tar and leather, a savory whirlwind of concentrated density and lasting beauty adorned in thick black fruit. This will do well in the cellar; enjoy 2026–2031. Cellar Selection."
Jeb Dunnuck scored this 96 points saying "The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain checks in as a blend of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Malbec, Merlot, and Petit Verdot. It offers a sensational bouquet of blackcurrants, blackberries, black cherries, savory herbs, bay leaf, and earth. It's medium to full-bodied, beautiful, elegant, has vibrant acidity, fine tannins, and a smoking good finish. It’s another age-worthy wine from this terrific estate that needs short-term cellaring and will keep for 30+ years."
James Suckling scored this 95 points saying "This is a rich and tannic young red with blackberries, blueberries and currant bush. Some fresh basil. Full-bodied, chewy and impressive. Burly and fun. Needs at least three or four years to soften. Try in 2022."
Wine Spectator scored this 94 points saying "Intense, with açaí berry, plum and blueberry flavors pumping through, scored with briar, licorice snap and fruitcake notes. The roasted apple wood frame holds all the elements together through the finish. Show lots of youthful grip, so this will need some patience. Best from 2021 through 2040."