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La Jota Howell Mountain Merlot 2014

  • RP93
  • WS93
750ML / 14.8% ABV
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750ML / 14.8% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2014 La Jota Merlot is a powerhouse Merlot with a structure to relish. Notes of dark chocolate, dark and red berry characters, give way to clove, toast, minerality and weight on the palate.

Blend: 90% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot

Critical Acclaim

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RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2014 Merlot is 90% Merlot and 10% Petit Verdot aged in 76% new French oak. Carpenter told me that this wine emerges from a micro-terroir within the vineyard that has traditionally under-performed, but due to draconian crop-pruning and tiny yields, it has turned out to be a “rock star” in 2014. Dense purple, with a big, sweet kiss of mulberry, chocolate, mocha and coffee, the wine is luscious, fleshy, dramatic and even flamboyant, with fabulous fruit on the attack and mid-palate, silky tannin and a plush, layered mouthfeel. It is already drinking beautifully (as most 2014s are) and will continue to evolve nicely for another 12-15+ years.
WS 93
Wine Spectator
Pure and powerful, with intense red berry and dark cherry flavors that are supported by fresh acidity and firm tannins. Dried green herb and spice notes show on the engaging and mineral-filled finish. Best from 2019 through 2022.
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La Jota

La Jota Vineyards Co.

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La Jota Vineyards Co., California
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La Jota wines are handcrafted at our original 1898 fieldstone winery and hillside cave. From the low yielding vines of 28 mountain acres, they produce Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and our crown jewel, the annual Heritage Release Cabernet Sauvignon (formerly the Anniversary Release).

While growing grapes in the nutrient-lean, volcanic soils of the La Jota estate is a challenge, the rewards are undeniable. Highly concentrated flavors and muscular tannins slowly mature to perfection, while the cool winds, diurnal temperature swings and high altitude keep the grape acids impeccably balanced, revealing the distinctive voice of our estate.

Viticulturist, Mariano Navarro, and winemaker, Christopher Carpenter, understand the meticulous requirements of mountain farming and mountain winemaking. Their goal is to gently tame tannins while allowing the intriguing mineral, spice and sweet forest loam characters unique to our estate to enhance the complexity of our opulent fruit.

The result? La Jota wines offer elegance and cellar worthiness.

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Napa Valley

Red Wine

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Undoubtedly proving its merit over and over, Napa Valley is a now a leading force in the world of prestigious red wine regions. Though Cabernet Sauvignon dominates Napa Valley, other red varieties certainly thrive here. Important but often overlooked include Merlot and other Bordeaux varieties well-regarded on their own as well as for their blending capacities. Very old vine Zinfandel represents an important historical stronghold for the region and Pinot noir is produced in the cooler southern parts, close to the San Pablo Bay.

Perfectly situated running north to south, the valley acts as a corridor, pulling cool, moist air up from the San Pablo Bay in the evenings during the hot days of the growing season, which leads to even and slow grape ripening. Furthermore the valley claims over 100 soil variations including layers of volcanic, gravel, sand and silt—a combination excellent for world-class red wine production.

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SOU894519_2014 Item# 356567