La Jota W.S. Keyes Merlot 2012 Front Label
La Jota W.S. Keyes Merlot 2012 Front Label

La Jota W.S. Keyes Merlot 2012

  • RP96
750ML / 14.5% ABV
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750ML / 14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Rich tannins coat the mouth with ripe boysenberry, black cherry, mocha, espresso and cardamom characters. Keyes. Because of the intrinsic power in the Merlot itself, you'll also recognize that the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon this year went down while still maintaining that weight and burst of flavor. This is a Merlot for the ages and something that winemaker Chris Carpenter is hopeful you will feel comfortable carrying in your cellar for 15 to 20 years.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 96
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
To my surprise, the top wine of the La Jota red quartet is the 2012 Merlot W. S. Keyes, a limited production 300-case cuvée made from 83% Merlot and 17% Cabernet Sauvignon aged in 100% new French oak. Notes of sweet earth, iron, black cherries, blackberries, mocha and unsmoked cigar tobacco are found in this full, thick, sensationally rich Merlot. It is one of the finest Merlots I have tasted from California over recent vintages. Drink it over the next decade.
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La Jota

La Jota Vineyards Co.

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La Jota Vineyards Co., California
La Jota Vineyards Co. Winery Video

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.

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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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EDV130777_2012E_2012 Item# 156400

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