2011 La Jota Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon
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.
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.
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)