La Jota Howell Mountain Merlot 2019 (Napa Valley, California) - [JS 95] [WS 94] [JD 93] [VM 93] [TWI 91+] [WA 91]

La Jota Howell Mountain Merlot 2019
(Napa Valley, California) - [JS 95] [WS 94] [JD 93] [VM 93] [TWI 91+] [WA 91]

Regular price $155.00 Sale price $119.99 Save $35.01

JS95 WS94 JD93 VM93 TWI91+ WA91
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About this wine:

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.

La Jota wines are handcrafted at their original 1898 fieldstone winery and hillside cave. From the low yielding vines of 28 mountain acres, they produce Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and the annual Heritage Release Cabernet Sauvignon.

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 the 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 the estate to enhance the complexity of its opulent fruit.

Ratings & Reviews

95 Points - James Suckling:
"Lots of black olives with some conifer and mushrooms. Raspberries, too. Full-bodied with soft and round tannins. Really savory. Juicy." (Mar 2022)

94 Points - Wine Spectator: 
"Refined and polished yet deeply structured, with expressive red currant, dried herbs and hints of stony minerality that build tension and richness toward big but polished tannins. Drink now through 2030. 1,038 cases made." - TF (Dec 2022)

93 Points - Jeb Dunnuck:
"Based on 82% Merlot, 11% Petit Verdot, and the rest Tannat, the 2019 Merlot offers a deep, saturated plum/ruby color to go with youthful, powerful notes of ripe red and black fruits, scorched earth, Asian spices, and lead pencil shavings. Rich, medium to full-bodied, concentrated, and textured on the palate, this rich, structured Merlot is going to evolve for at least 15-20 years." (Dec 2021)

93 Points - Vinous Media:
"The 2019 Merlot is a rich, dense wine. Black cherry, plum, spice, leather and tobacco are all kicked up in this sumptuous, racy Merlot from La Jota. The 2019 is pretty soft for a mountain wine, but it has tons of depth and plenty of stylishness." - Antonio Galloni (Jan 2022)

91+ Points - The Wine Independent: 
"A blend of 82% Merlot, 11% Petit Verdot, and 7% Tannat, the 2019 Merlot is deep garnet-purple in color. It leaps with savory notions of black olives, dried herbs, and charcuterie over a core of redcurrant jelly, cassis, and ripe black plums. Medium to full-bodied, the palate delivers mouth-coating black fruits with lifted red berry flavors and a firm, grainy texture, finishing long and refreshing. 1,038 cases were made. Sadly the six rows of Tannat that went into this were frozen and killed last year, so there will be no Tannat in the blend going forward for a while." - LPB (Jun 2022)

91 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate:
"La Jota's 2019 Merlot Howell Mountain includes 11% Petit Verdot and 7% Tannat. It boasts plummy black cherries and hints of herbs on the nose, while the palate is medium to full-bodied and silky but not that deep or rich. Supple and charming yet not unstructured, this mouthwatering Merlot may be enjoyed on the young side, but it should drink well through at least 2030." - JC (May 2022)