Mountain Made Wines Continue in Good Hands
Boy, you’ve got to give it to Jess Jackson.
Most of the media has focused on Francis For Coppola’s purchase of Sonoma’s Chateau Souverain from Fosters. But I think Jackson got the real prize when he picked up La Jota Vineyard Company the other day from Markham Vineyards.
This purchase is good news to wine lovers. Jackson has a history of purchasing or founding small estate wineries that put or have great vineyards at their center. La Jota is one of them and is now likely to continue as one.
The winery was founded by Bill and Joan Smith in the mid 1970s when they planted 28 acres on Howell Mountain in the eastern hills of Napa Valley. These wines have always been terrific; big, bold reproductions of the mountain climate and terrain. The cabs in particular were wines you simply had to wait for to come around. On release they have often been monsters, somewhat closed but dense too. Their tannins nearly always needed time to soften up. They also made a Petite Sirah that was among the best in America.
La Jota will be managed under Jackson’s Artisan & Estates company that has more than one gem in its portfolio. Among the wineries Jackson has acquired or built that fall under A & E is Matanzas Creek Winery, Hartford Court, Atalon, Stonestreet, Verite, Cardinale just to name a few.