“The 2017 La Jota Merlot showcases dark ripe berries, black cherry, and espresso bean. A broad textural impact charms the mid-palate and classic Howell Mountain minerality drives the long, opulent finish.”
– Chris Carpenter, Winemaker
We hand-harvested grapes into small, 30-pound boxes to prevent crushing, and then we brought them to the winery for hand-sorting. After destemming and light crushing, the must was cold-soaked for gentle color, flavor and tannin extraction. Winemaker Chris Carpenter fermented 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. The wine was barrel-aged for 20 months and bottled unfined and unfiltered.
ABOUT LA JOTA VINEYARD CO
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 locationon the Mexican parcel Rancho La Jota. Both men won medals for their Howell Mountain winesin the Paris Exposition of 1900.
Today, La Jota Vineyard Co. proudly carries on this great legacy with its small-productionmountain Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc, and Chardonnay. All La Jota winesare 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.
ABOUT CHRIS CARPENTER
Chris Carpenter is winemaker for many of Napa Valley’s most prestigious wineries, including Cardinale, Lokoya, La Jota Vineyard Co., Mt. Brave, and most recently Hickinbotham Clarendon Vineyard in South Australia’s McLaren Vale. Over the past two decades, Chris has earned a reputation for taming Napa Valley’s mountain tannins and creating legendary Cabernet Sauvignon. He works closely with the vineyard team to nurture and then manifest the unique character of each vineyard block in elegant wines with great depth, mountain character and historic pedigree. He believes in maximum attention in the vineyards and minimal intervention in the winery to create the purest expression of place.