2015 Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon - La Jota Vineyard Co.

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Tense black currant, green tobacco, fresh blueberry. Raw acai, roasted coffee bean, blackberry paste. Crushed anise and muddled mint, baking chocolate and wrought iron. Excruciatingly dark yet remarkably lean mountain fruit instantly makes its presence felt, radiating featherweight black forest cherry and creme de cassis plus a hint of soft black licorice. Dried violet and rose garden add a touch of pretty florals to contrast beautifully ripe pyrazines, rounded out with a pleasant dusting of nutmeg, vanilla, and cedar. Stately, composed, and surprisingly restrained, showcasing pristine volcanic terroir with well-executed precision. Modest in body with assertive tannin and acidity - sufficiently structured for decades of improvement. This 2015 Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon by La Jota Vineyard Co. is gorgeously focused and classically styled Napa Valley mountain Cab.

Located high up in the Vaca Mountains immediately east of Saint Helena, Howell Mountain has garnered a reputation as one of Napa Valley's premier mountain sub-appellations. Thanks to its high elevation, cooler daytime temperatures, and extremely infertile volcanic soils, grapes grown here produce a significantly different expression of their varieties than those grown on the valley floor. This bottling, crafted from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from the La Jota Vineyard in Howell Mountain, is a brilliant example of this spectacular growing zone. While still extremely young, tense, and tight, this wine exudes the classic restraint and rugged mountain character typical of the region. It did require some air to open up - we opted to utilize our vSpin to aid in the decanting process - but once the wheels started turning there was no slowing this thing down. This is simply terrific stuff and is absolutely worth seeking out.