2011 La Jota Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1169386 95 points Vinous

 Graphite, pencil shavings, violets, melted road tar, spices, blue/purplish fruit and lavender flesh out in the 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon from La Jota. Aromatically striking and totally vivid in the glass, the 2011 stands out for its crystalline purity, finesse and vibrant finish. All the elements are in the right place. The tannins are firm yet also silky. This is a flat-out stunning wine from Chris Carpenter and La Jota. The 2011 is 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot.  (11/2013)

91 points James Suckling

 Lots of dark-fruit and tar character on the nose and palate. Full body with silky tannins and a dark-chocolate, berry and mineral undertone. A little more subdued than the 2010 but outstanding. Needs two or three years to soften: Try in 2016.  (5/2014)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is a blend of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot aged in 90% new French oak. Winemaker Christopher Carpenter, who is resurrecting this estate to its glory days of the early nineties, has hit pay dirt with this 2011. More charming than one normally expects of a Howell Mountain Cabernet, it possesses sweet tannin, low acidity, and lots of blueberry and black currant fruit intermixed with licorice, underbrush and foresty notes. Medium-bodied and approachable, this endearing 2011 is best drunk over the next decade. (RP)  (10/2013)

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Price: $79.99
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Staff Image By: Trey Beffa | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/21/2014 | Send Email
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The 2011 La Jota Howell Mountain Cabernet is a super effort! In a vintage like 2011, if a winemaker tries to do too much with the wine in the cellars, the wine will come out rough, unbalanced and green. The 2011 La Jota was created with a light hand. It shows tons of spicy red currant fruit, minerals and cedar hints. There is a wonderful freshness that explodes from the glass! This is an earlier drinking wine that shows great right now with some air.

Staff Image By: Alex Pross | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/10/2014 | Send Email
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The 2011 La Jota Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon is the best 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon I have tasted! 2011 was by all accounts a very challenging vintage but there were a few wineries that seem to have been able to weather the storm and make a very good wine, La Jota is one of them. One of the advantages of mountain grown fruit is they can pick later and allow a longer hang time coupled with the tension put on the vines to grow in the gravelly volcanic soil gives the grapes a more defined personality. The complexity and depth that the 2011 La Jota showed took me by surprise, the wine starts off with aromas of crème de cassis, graphite and lavender notes give way to dark blueberry and blackberry fruit and spice notes. This wine has great balance, power and depth coupled with great fruit and just the right amount of oak. A great wine for any vintage but truly a standout in 2011!
Drink from 2014 to 2030

Additional Information:


Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.