TN: 1997 La Jota Cabernet Sauvignon Anniversary Release

  • 1997 La Jota Cabernet Sauvignon Anniversary Release - USA, California, Napa Valley, Howell Mountain (1/4/2021)
    I was correcting my wine inventory over the holiday week and was surprised to find four bottles of this wine. I thought I only had one. Just slight bricking on a ruby color. A very perfumed nose with strong tar, cedar, and cigar notes. On palate, very fresh with even stronger cedar with blackberries coming thru to balance the fruit and tannins. Long enjoyable finish. Now, that was the impression on initial decant with less than a hour. The next day I have to admit, the wine fell apart and was showing quite dead. So drink up! (92 pts.)

Posted from CellarTracker

1991 to 1994 was one of the most epic runs for a Napa Cab with La Jota Anniversary Release.

No doubt.

Yuo, remember these wines from that time also–was drinking lots of Napa Cab in the 90’s.

Still have a bunch of the 1994 Anniversary and Howell Mountain Selection bottlings.

Kris Patten wrote:
1991 to 1994 was one of the most epic runs for a Napa Cab with La Jota Anniversary Release.

I believe Randy Dunn was making the wines at that time. Helen Turley was also involved after Randy, IIRC. Those were fantastic wines!


I have a chance to buy 1993 or 1996, the former significantly cheaper.
So you think, I should go with 1993?

I have both wines in the 96 vintage. Time to open some.

Buy both and log the price as the average!

Unfortunately I do not have enough money for both, I was thinking that it is better to pay premium for 1996 but you wrote that wines from period 1991-94 were the best at La Jota.
Now I am perplexed.

I believe the 1995 deserves to be included in the awesome consecutive streak for this wine!

96 too

A tasting note on these wines always garners attention because the string of these wines are just that good, and how low priced they had been for so many years- although that has begun to change. Personally I think the 92 is the best of the bunch and well stored bottles are just now hitting its apex. But as mentioned above, really 91-97 are all strong, 97 probably the weakest of the bunch.

I recall deeply enjoying a 1995 about 5-6 years ago. It was so good, I hunted from some the next few years, but the price kept steadily rising, and I gave up, and was content to have enjoyed it in such a fine moment. Part of that hunt involved finding 3 well-kept (great fill, cork, etc) 1997. I opened the first in 2014, and decided this was a full step or step and a half behind the '95; also decided these needed to be consumed sooner than later. As such, I’d finished them in 2016, with no regrets; it was ok, certainly not excellent or very good. Now, the '95, bOoM!

fwiw, I paid $55 for these in 2014. To may palate, that was a stretch given what was in the bottle. Now, the 1995, even $85 would be a bargain. I feel like the '96 fit somewhere in between the those two vintages, though that’s based on two data points, not three.

It’s not often I comment on CA Cabs, but CT says there’s a lot still inventory - so as a PSA, drink up, people!

Well, in Europe 1996 Anniversary Release costs 189 EURO ( so well above 200 USD)…

Is there a big difference between the Anniversary Releases and regular Howell Mountain cuvee?

From what I have read, its is collosal, like between Grand Vin and second wine regarding famous Bordeaux chateaux. Anniversary Release is Reserve wine built for long haul, after so many years only Anniversary Release should be in so good shape to deliver something special ( factor X). Besides these wines from period 1991-1997 were made by legendary Helen Turley, this is extra bonus for me ( my bucket list)
In the same place there are also regular Cabernet Sauvignon (1997 - 40 Euro) and also regular Cabernet Franc (1996 - 43 Euro) from La Jota

If one only, buy 1993 killer wine if stored properly.

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Damn - I was thinking that I could do a mini horizontal with La Jota and Dunn Howells, but it turns out that the Dunn is 95 and the La Jota is 96. Wonder if I can find the other two to fill in…

I would love to do that. Plus throw in some ringers. I have the la jota anniversary 92,94,95,97. I could be convinced to travel to BC. I would love to visit wine country up there.