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La Jota Howell Mountain Merlot 2015

Merlot from Napa Valley, California
  • RP94
  • WS93
  • WE93
750ML / 15% ABV
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  • WS93
  • RP93
  • RP94
  • RP92
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750ML / 15% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The La Jota Vineyard lies high upon a volcanic plateau, looking east over Napa Valley. Surrounded by pine, fir, oak and madrone trees, the estate stands out because of its cool, windswept climate. Here we look to vineyard blocks that produce soft-textured Cabernet Sauvignon for wines of earlier approachability, and where the decomposed granite soils of our W.S. Keyes Vineyard impart a pop of bright fruit character and broader tannins.

The 2015 La Jota Merlot encompasses all that is mountain Merlot with a structure to relish. Notes of espresso, dark chocolate, and toast follow ripe blackberry, minerality, and weight on the palate.

Blend: 90% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot

Critical Acclaim

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RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Composed of 90% Merlot and 10% Petit Verdot, the 2015 Merlot Howell Mountain sports a deep garnet-purple color and nose of pure blackberry, black cherries and black plums with touches of garrigue, menthol and baking spices, with a waft of violets. Full-bodied, rich and packed with generous black fruits framed by velvety tannins and great freshness, it finishes long and spicy. 1,757 cases produced.
WS 93
Wine Spectator
Pure and refined, this offers savory richness to the dried red fruit and spice flavors. Tannins are firm but well-honed, and the finish is filled with mineral and cedar box notes, with a juicy rush of chocolate. Drink now through 2024.
WE 93
Wine Enthusiast
A mountain-grown wine blended with 10% Petit Verdot, this impresses in its ability to offer power and elegance in equal measure. Cinnamon, baked plum and dark cherry ride along a soft, structured and age-worthy wine, which shows a touch of reduction, espresso bean and dusty rock minerality.
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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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SOU924696_2015 Item# 420664