2009 La Jota Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon
The tannins are so fierce on this baby Cabernet that they effectively lock it down and make it tough to drink now. Yet there’s a fabulous core of blackberries that are rich, ripe and intense. Everything about it suggests ageability. Give it at least eight years in a proper cellar, and it could age even longer.Cellar Selection. —S.H.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon comes across as gorgeous and round in its expressive dark red and black fruit, earthiness, menthol, spices and graphite. The firm Howell Mountain tannins are there, but the presence of Merlot (12%) helps to soften the wine. This is a gorgeous showing from La Jota and winemaker Chris Carpenter. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024.
Intense, supple and graceful, with a potent beam of mineral-laced dried berry, currant, cedar and tobacco flavors, fulfilling its focus and promising a long life ahead. Best from 2014 through 2028.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(with 12% merlot, 3% cabernet franc and 1% petit verdot; 85% new French oak): Good deep ruby. Musk cassis, black cherry and chocolate on the nose. Fatter and sweeter than the merlot, at once muskier and more penetrating in the mid-palate, with a distinctly juicy quality and good energy to the mountain berry flavors. Finishes with substantial but round tannins and very good length. Owing to its vibrancy, this may yet merit an even higher score with a few more years in bottle.