Lokoya Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon (3 Liter Bottle - Wrinkled Label) 2001
Bathed in sunlight on the western ridges of the Mayacamas Mountains at the northern end of the Mount Veeder appellation, the Veeder Peak estate vineyard sits at 1,800 feet in elevation. Since 1995, Lokoya has produced a Cabernet Sauvignon from a selection of blocks situated on the steep, mountainous terrain. Struggling in this volcanic soil forces the vines to seek out nutrients and in turn produce berries with intensely concentrated fruit. The wines display defining characteristics of violets and blue fruit with powerful tannins and exceptional aging potential.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
An utterly perfect wine that exemplifies this extraordinary vintage for North Coast Bordeaux varietals is the 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon Mt. Veeder, which comes from the Jackson family’s Veeder Peak Vineyard. Unfortunately, slightly less than 300 cases were produced, so availability is limited. A dense opaque blue/purple color is followed by notes of lead pencil shavings, ink, blueberry liqueur, raspberries and black currants. The wine is super intense as well as extremely full-bodied and opulent with great structure, purity and density. (I know this sounds weird, but when I smelled and tasted it, it reminded me of the 2010 La Mission Haut Brion that I had tasted a month earlier, no doubt because of its volcanic/hot rock-like character.) This phenomenal wine is a modern day legend from Napa.
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.
Centered at the peak for which it is named, Mount Veeder is Napa’s largest sub-AVA. But even though the entire appellation spreads over 16,000 acres, vineyards cover a mere 1,000. Scattered among Douglas firs and bristlecone pines, Mount Veeder vineyards extend south from the upper elevations of the Mayacamas Mountains—the highest point at 2,400 feet—to the border of the Carneros region. Less than 25 wineries produce wine from Mount Veeder fruit.
Winemaking began early in this appellation. In 1864, Captain Stelham Wing presented the first Mount Veeder wine to the Napa County Fair; it came from today’s Wing Canyon Vineyard. Prohibition, of course, halted winemaking and viticulture wasn’t revitalized until the founding of Mayacamas Vineyards in 1951 and Bernstein Vineyards in 1964.
The Bernstein Vineyards was actually home to the first Petit Verdot in California, planted in 1975. Today most of the Petit Verdot in Napa Valley originates from this vineyard.
Rocky volcanic clay and ancient seabed matter dominate Mount Veeder soils—perfect for Bordeaux varieties. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot enjoy spectacular success. These varieties produce wines rich in brambly blackberry and black cherry fruit with herbal and floral aromatics. Structures are moderate to assertive and wines have great staying power.
Chardonnay from Mount Veeder is lush, full and balanced mineral and fresh citrus flavors.
A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon enjoys success all over the globe, its best examples showing potential to age beautifully for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in Bordeaux's Medoc where it is often blended with Merlot and smaller amounts of some combination of Cabernet Franc, Malbecand Petit Verdot. In the Napa Valley, ‘Cab’ is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious, age-worthy and sought-after “cult” wines. Somm Secret—DNA profiling in 1997 revealed that Cabernet Sauvignon was born from a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc in 17th century southwest France.