95 points Wine Enthusiast
This full-bodied, concentrated wine shows plenty of power in its bringing together of the variety with smaller percentages of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec. With a huge presence on the palate that lingers and stays in one’s brain, it shows a reductive quality of toasted oak along with black pepper, bark and leather saddle,. It’s a wine to enjoy from a giant leather chaise, if possible. Cellar until 2023. (2/2017)
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon from Howell Mountain is the largest cuvée (2,675 cases) and a blend of all five Bordeaux varieties: 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Petit Verdot and Malbec. It’s a beauty. Opaque purple, with notes of licorice, charcoal, lead-pencil shavings, blackcurrants and spice, the wine is full-bodied, opulent, lavishly rich and pure, with sweet tannin and a long finish. This wine is approachable now, but promises to age beautifully for 20-25 years. The owners of La Jota, the Kendall-Jackson group, finally are getting this estate back to its early 1990s qualitative level. Certainly winemaker Chris Carpenter, who does such a fabulous job at Cardinale and Lokoya, should get some of the kudos. This is the strongest lineup I’ve tasted yet under the Jackson family, but it is a phenomenal vintage as well. (RP) (10/2015)
92 points Vinous
The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon is another deep, intense wine from La Jota. Inky blue/black fruit, smoke, licorice and menthol are all pushed forward in a plush, relatively open-knit Howell Mountain Cabernet that will drink well with minimal cellaring, in part because a good dose of Merlot softens the wine. La Jota is the Jackson family's estate on Howell Mountain, where winemaker Chris Carpenter makes wines that offer plenty of Howell character yet remain relatively approachable upon release. (AG) (10/2015)
HISTORY The wines of La Jota have deep roots in Napa Valley. Back in 1888, winemaking pioneer W.S. Keyes planted some of the first vines on Howell Mountain, and 10 years later his contemporary, Fredrick Hess, built a stone winery and established La Jota Vineyard Co., named for its location on the Mexican parcel Rancho La Jota. Both men won medals for their Howell Mountain wines in the Paris Exposition of 1900. Today, La Jota Vineyard Co. proudly carries on this great legacy with its small-production mountain Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. All La Jota wines are sourced from the winery’s estate and from nearby W.S. Keyes Vineyard, and they capture the intense fruit and mineral complexity of these cool-climate origins.
VINEYARD The La Jota Vineyard lies high upon a volcanic plateau, looking east over Napa Valley. Surrounded by pine, fir, oak and madrone trees, the estate stands out because of its cool, windswept climate. Here we look to vineyard blocks that produce soft-textured Cabernet Sauvignon for wines of earlier approachability, and where the decomposed granite soils of our W.S. Keyes vineyard impart a pop of bright fruit character and broader tannins.
WINEMAKING We hand-harvested grapes into small, 30-pound boxes to prevent crushing, and then we brought them to the winery for hand-sorting. After de-stemming and light crushing, the must was cold-soaked for gentle color, flavor and tannin extraction. Winemaker Chris Carpenter ermented the juice with native yeast in a combination of open- and closed-top stainless steel tanks. Following gentle basket press, the wine underwent in-barrel malolactic fermentation, rounding the acidity and integrating the vanilla character of French oak (89% new).
WINEMAKER’S COMMENTS The 2013 growing season was another near perfect year. With only a day or two approaching 100 degrees, temperatures were steady and in the sweet spot of 85°-95°F. Dry conditions throughout allowed for ideal maturation and flavor concentration. The 2013 La Jota Cabernet Sauvignon flavors impart brambly blackberry, espresso bean, toast and gravely minerality. Classic Howell Mountain, full bodied, well balanced with a lengthy finish.
Blend Composition: 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10.5% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, 4.5% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec
Harvest Dates: September 17 to October 25
Fermentation: Native Yeast Fermentation
Maceration: 20 Days
Barrell Aging: 19 months in French oak (89% new)
Alcohol by Volume: 14.5%
Wine PH: 3.67
Wine Acidity: .63g/100ml
Vineyards: La Jota Vineyard & W.S. Keyes Vineyard