Lokoya Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2001
At the northeastern side of Napa Valley’s Vaca Range, the Howell Mountain appellation peaks at 2,500 feet. Our estate W.S. Keyes Vineyard was planted in 1888, and has been the exclusive source for the Lokoya Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon since its first vintage in 1995. The vineyard sits at 1,825 feet, high above the fog line, where temperatures are cool but moderate, and Cabernet Sauvignon in particular thrives with extra time to ripen. The vines bask in a steady breeze and sunlight, surrounded by a forest of ponderosa pine. Lean, quick-draining soils force the vines to struggle, yielding small grapes that possess deep, concentrated flavor with a signature minerality and earthy undertone.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Absolutely prodigious, the 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain was fashioned from the Keyes Vineyard (formerly known as the Liparita Vineyard) owned by the Jackson family. A fabulous perfume of crushed rocks, a liqueur of raspberries, black currants and cherries, and a background floral note emerges from this intense, full-bodied Cabernet. It possesses impressive equilibrium, a skyscraper-like texture and a finish that goes on for nearly a minute. There is plenty of tannin remaining in this youthful 2001. It is a stunning, statuesque, compelling Cabernet Sauvignon from a high elevation, cool climate Howell Mountain vineyard that should age effortlessly for another quarter of a century.
A thick, rich, solid effort, vanilla bean- and cocoa-laced, with rich blackberry, currant and plum flavors that firm up nicely.
Barrel Sample: 92-95
Established in 1995, Lokoya is a collection of four distinct Cabernet Sauvignons from four of Napa Valley’s most celebrated mountain appellations: Mount Veeder, Howell Mountain, Spring Mountain and Diamond Mountain. These limited-production wines are 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, fermented with native yeast, and bottled unfined and unfiltered, resulting in the purest expression of place.
Cabernet Sauvignon as lens, site as conveyor—the grape variety and winemaking for the four wines remain consistent, allowing the vineyard sites to shine with the climate, soils and sunlight all fully expressed in the glass.
Given the high elevation of the sites, the vineyards demand constant attention. The deep understanding of the vineyard trajectory in each vintage comes from Winemaker Christopher Carpenter’s years of expertise. Intervention is kept to a minimum both in the vineyard and in the cellar, leaving the fruit to express itself as naturally and eloquently as possible.
One of the most prestigious wines of the world capable of great power and grace, Napa Valley Cabernet is a leading force in the world of fine, famous, collectible red wine. Today the Napa Valley and Cabernet Sauvignon are so intrinsically linked that it is difficult to discuss one without the other. But it wasn’t until the 1970s that this marriage came to light; sudden international recognition rained upon Napa with the victory of the Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars 1973 Cabernet Sauvignon in the 1976 Judgement of Paris.
Cabernet Sauvignon undoubtedly dominates Napa Valley today, covering half of the land under vine, commanding the highest prices per ton and earning the most critical acclaim. Cabernet Sauvignon’s structure, acidity, capacity to thrive in multiple environs and ability to express nuances of vintage make it perfect for Napa Valley where incredible soil and geographical diversity are found and the climate is perfect for grape growing. Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that express specific characteristics based on situation, slope and soil—as a perfect example, Rutherford’s famous dust or Stags Leap District's tart cherry flavors.