91 points Robert Parker: "Proprietors Bill and Joan Smith are two of the nicest, most modest vineyard/winery owners I have ever met. They have turned La Jota into one of the great names in California winedom. Along with Randy Dunn, Peter Michael, and Beringer, they are getting more out of Howell Mountain fruit than any other California producer. The Smiths modestly give considerable credit to Helen Turley, who consulted at La Jota in 1992 and 1993, for opening their eyes to the possibilities of producing great red wines from Howell Mountain without the astringent tannin normally associated with this mountain appellation. Although the La Jota Cabernets possess high tannin levels, the tannins are velvety and sweet. The 1992s were so extraordinary at this winery, it is hard to believe that the 1993s and 1994s could be their equal. Moreover, both Joan and Bill Smith believe that 1995 produced the greatest raw materials in the short history of this winery. I tasted through their 1995s as the wines had finished malolactic fermentation and were surprisingly evolved, even though the harvest had just been completed. They look brilliant, but more on those wines after they have had some time in barrel." (12/95)
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