At the northeastern side of?Napa Valley?s Vaca Range, the Howell Mountain appellation peaks at 2,500 feet. Our estate W.S. Keyes Vineyard was planted in 1888, and has been the exclusive source for the Lokoya Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon since its first vintage in 1995. The vineyard sits at 1,825 feet, high above the fog line, where temperatures are cool but moderate, and Cabernet Sauvignon in particular thrives with extra time to ripen. The vines bask in a steady breeze and sunlight, surrounded by a forest of ponderosa pine. Lean, quick-draining soils force the vines to struggle, yielding small grapes that possess deep, concentrated flavor with a signature minerality and earthy undertone.
Another prodigious effort is the black/purple-colored 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain, which comes from the Keyes Vineyard owned by the Jackson family. It is another small production cuvee of only 382 cases, versus 400 of the Diamond Mountain and 571 of the Mount Veeder. This wine shows the classic mulberry, graphite-laced, floral and chalky notes of Howell Mountain, with tremendous intensity and skyscraper-like texture. It is full-bodied and powerful with sweet tannin and loads of minerality and floral notes.