1996 La Jota "15th Anniversary Release" Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Fresh ruby-red. Briary aroma of blackberry, cherry cola, mocha and licorice. Rich, superripe dark berry flavors are fresh and very intensely flavored; dense and layered. The substantial dusty tannins coat the entire palate. Very long on the back end. This seemed to grow fresher and more complex as it opened in the glass.
96 points Robert Parker: "The 1996 Cabernet Sauvignon 15th Anniversary Release (1,050 cases produced) boasts an opaque purple color, as well as beautiful aromas of smoke, blackberries, Asian spices, charcoal, and subtle truffle-like scents. Huge, massive, and full-bodied, with phenomenal flavor extraction, and beautifully integrated tannin and acidity, this flamboyant, exceptionally well-endowed wine continues the succession of titanic wines made under this label. Anticipated maturity: 2002-2027." (12/98) 93 points Wine Spectator: "A dark, rich, plush, concentrated Cabernet, its layers of currant, anise, sage, cedar, tar and mineral flavors building for a long, rich aftertaste. Best from 2001 through 2009." (04/99)