A monster, the tannic 1995 Cabernet Sauvignon 14th Anniversary Release is unquestionably a huge, mountain-styled Cabernet. It exhibits a black/purple color and a reticent but promising nose of minerals, smoke, black currants, and underbrush. Although full-bodied and excruciatingly tannic, there is enough fruit to balance out the wine's structure. It may be as backward as the Cabernet Sauvignon made by Dunn on another Howell Mountain slope; this wine needs 5-8 years of cellaring. La Jota's two Cabernet Sauvignon cuvees are similar in quality. The Howell Mountain Select and Anniversary Release share dense, concentrated, full-bodied personalities with superlative levels of fruit and extract. The Anniversary cuvee usually has a bit more depth, ripeness, and overall potential, but that is not always easily discernable when they are young. Each wine will last - at the minimum - 20 years. Readers can decide whether they prefer the more open-knit opulence of the 1994, the more austere, jagged tannins of the big 1995, or the forceful power of the 1996. Drink now-2025. (RP)
Ruby-red, brighter than the above. Very complex nose combines black raspberry, black cherry, tobacco, minerals, mocha, toffee and leather. Sweet, very rich and expansive in the mouth; has the suave, lush texture of a right-bank Bordeaux. Berry, chocolate and mocha flavors. Fresher than the HMS, with a burst of black raspberry and currant fruitiness on the finish, along with notes of leather and cigar ash. Some tooth- and tongue-dusting tannins will require at least a few years of bottle aging. (ST)
A dark, intense wine with a solid core of currant, black cherry and anise-laced Cabernet flavors, but also a strong dose of cedary oak. Give it some time to come together. (JL)
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