94pts Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2017 Merlot Howell Mountain reveals pretty baked plums, blueberry pie and blackberry compote notes with touches of cloves, star anise, cracked black pepper and black soil plus a waft of underbrush. Full-bodied, the palate is densely packed with crunchy black fruit layers, framed by very ripe, rounded tannins and just enough freshness, finishing long and peppery.
The 2017 La Jota Merlot showcases dark ripe berries, black cherry, and espresso bean. A broad textural impact charms the mid-palate and classic Howell Mountain minerality drives the long, opulent finish.