1997 La Jota "16th Anniversary" Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #300721 93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The sensational black/purple-colored 1997 Cabernet Sauvignon 16th Anniversary Release is closed, but its emerging aromas of charcoal, blackberries, cassis, and minerals are promising. The wine is intense, ripe, with a layered, expansive richness, and exotic notes of Asian spices, beef blood, and assorted black fruits. Anticipated maturity: 2004-2025. (RP)  (1/2000)

91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Saturated bright ruby. Black raspberry, sandalwood, and a slightly medicinal suggestion of Dr. Pepper on the superripe nose. Thick, deep and mouthfilling; intriguing flavors of black fruits, tobacco, leather and iron. Finishes with huge, toothcoating tannins that will require substantial bottle aging. An outsized wine that may ultimately merit a higher score. 91+ (ST)  (12/1999)

91 points Wine Spectator

 Spicy, fruity aromatics lead to a rich and supple wine with pretty currant, anise, cherry and blackberry flavors. Firms up on the finish, where a touch of chocolate emerges.  (6/2000)

K&L Notes

Truly one of the great unsung '97s, the 16th Anniversary bottling has ripe cherry fruit, a dose of new oak and some pretty chewy tannins at this point. Always an age-worthy Cabernet producer, La Jota's finest have come in the '90s, and the '97 is arguably the best of the decade. (Joe Zugelder, K&L Buyer, Old and Rare Wines, 09/2000)

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Varietal:

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 M├ędoc 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.
Country:

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.
Sub-Region:

California

- 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.