One of the jewels of Howell Mountain, La Jota continues to impress with their new release bottling from a warm vintage in Napa. With superstar winemaker, Chris Carpenter at the helm, La Jota produces some rich, yet terroir driven wines that always reflect this special part of Napa. La Jota was originally founded in the 1890s by Fredrich Hess, an immigrant from Switzerland. Over time these wines received considerable accolades. Intriguingly they even received a gold medal for their wine at the World’s Fair of 1904 in St. Louis. La Jota wines are made from low yielding vines planted amongst 28 acres. The high altitude keeps the freshness and minerality to the wine that remains even in hot vintages like 2015. Vines are planted on volcanic soils at relatively high elevation which gives the red wines excellent richness and aging potential. The terroir of Howell Mountain also has colder temperatures at night, compared to the Napa Valley floor -- which leads to lower yields than the floor and also smaller but richly concentrated fruit. Being at higher elevation also protects the fruit from the intense temperatures sometimes experienced on the Napa floor.
Head winemaker, Christopher Carpenter has a B.A. in biology, as well as an M.B.A. in international business. After officially falling in love with wine, Carpenter completed the illustrious masters of viticulture and enology program at UC Davis. He took over as head winemaker at La Jota in 2005. HIs new wines were just incredible across the board. La Jota makes one of the best Cabernet Franc wines in Napa, and this years release, the 2015 La Jota Cabernet Franc (WWB, 95) is no exception as this wine delights the senses with herbal tones and seductive fruits with gorgeous terroir. Not to be outdone, the 2015 La Jota Cabernet Sauvignon (WWB, 95) has serious range and richness. It is a monster of a wine that will drink marvelously for decades. Learn more about these special wines at https://www.lajotavineyardco.com Here are the gorgeous new wines by La Jota.
2015 La Jota Cabernet Franc- The 2015 La Jota Vineyard Cabernet Franc was sourced from the La Jota Vineyard and the W.S. Keys Vineyard and was aged for 22 months in 78% new French oak prior to bottling. The nose is distinctly feminine with rose petals and red cherry preserves alongside violets, crushed mint and blueberry compote. The palate is deep and brooding, as the combination of weight, texture and tension is outstanding. Black tea, blackberry cobbler, crushed mint, and black cherry compote flavors all show a dark tone. Kudos to superstar winemaker Chris Carpenter on this gorgeous Cabernet Franc that is as good as any in Napa. Try to resist this great bottling for at least another year. Drink 2019-2040- 95
2015 La Jota Merlot- The 2015 La Jota Merlot was aged in 72% new French oak for 22 months before bottling. Legendary winemaker, Chris Carpenter, has blended in 10% Petit Verdot to this Merlot. The nose shows very pretty tones with red cherry, lavender, with toasty oak and and black raspberry cordial. The palate shows a brilliant minerality and seriously good weight, invoking black tea, milk chocolate, black cherry pie and lighter tones of sage. This is downright delicious now but really needs two more years to fully come together. Drink 2020-2040- 95
2015 La Jota Cabernet Sauvignon- The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon by La Jota is a seductive blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8.5% Cabernet Franc, 7.5% Merlot, 6% Malbec and 3% Petit Verdot which was aged for 22 months in 65% new French oak prior to bottling. Needing more than a two hour decant at this juncture, the wine takes on glorious creme de cassis, Turkish coffee, blueberry cordial and wild thyme aromatics. The palate shows marvelous complexly and range. Black tea, blueberry compote, mocha and blackberry pie flavors all beautifully mingle in the glass. Rich and layered, this hedonistic effort will cellar marvelously for decades. Be sure to give this at least a two hour decant if enjoying in its youth. Drink 2020-2045- 95