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2019 La Jota Howell Mountain Merlot

The Howell Mountain AVA includes 1,000 acres of vineyards interspersed by forestlands in the Vaca Mountains. The soils are shallow and are composed of volcanic ash and red clay producing highly concentrated berries with thick skins. The wines of La Jota have deep roots in Napa Valley.

All La Jota wines are sourced from the winery’s estate and from nearby W.S. Keyes Vineyard. Each captures the intense fruit and mineral complexity of their cool-climate origins. La Jota Vineyard produces consistently well-made wines capturing the nuances and distinctive flavors from Howell Mountain vineyards, resulting in wines that are full of structure along with future aging potential.

The 2019 La Jota Howell Mountain Merlot is grown in the volcanic soils of Howell Mountain. It is a blend of 81.5% Merlot, 11.5% Petit Verdot and 7% Tannat. This Merlot is rich and dense, with a color that is nearly opaque and purple in the glass. Within are aromas of black cherry, cassis, herbal, red currant, and a hint of dust and stony minerality. This Merlot is youthful and full bodied with polished tannins. It is juicy and layered on the palate with a mouthwatering texture. The acidity is well integrated, giving the finish lift and a delicious mouth-feel through a long finish. The La Jota Howell Mountain Merlot is a classic Howell Mountain wine. Charming and sophisticated, this Merlot may be enjoyed in its youth, but it should drink well and evolve for the next two decades.

By Perry Miroballi

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