Lokoya Winery specializes in premium small lot wines (100% varietal Cabernet Sauvignon) exclusively from Napa grown hillside fruit from select locations. These are very limited production terroir driven concentrated wines. The name Lokoya is a tribute to the Native American tribe that inhabited what is now known as Mt. Veeder in the Mayacamas mountains towering above the western side of Napa Valley. Lokoya’s tastings are by advance reservation only, are for serious wine enthusiasts/collectors and are held at the estate of Cardinale in the Oakville region of the Napa Valley. Lokoya is owned by Kendall Jackson who already owns a healthy portfolio of Napa based wineries (see our review of Cardinale for more information as well as a list of all Napa wineries they own); Lokoya is their premium holding. They produce Cabernet Sauvignons from Diamond Mountain, Howell Mountain, Mount Veeder and more recently Spring Mountain.
Their winemaker is in charge of Cardinale, Lokoya and La Jota. He knows the vineyards very well and keeps only the highest quality fruit for Lokoya. In certain cases this comes down to merely a few select rows in specific blocks in the vineyard. All their Cabernet’s are unfined and unfiltered allowing for maximum flavor. Allow an hour for the sit down tasting of 3-4 of Lokoya’s wines. The tasting typically starts outdoors (weather permitting) where from the Cardinale Patio you have some of the nicest views in this area of Oakville’s Vineyards as well as to the north all the way to Mt. St. Helena. In addition, glance to the east and the highest mountain you see will be Mt. Veeder, site of one of Lokoya’s vineyards.
The sit down tasting is paired with gourmet cheeses. All vintages we tasted were 2004 – Lokoya owns and micromanages their Mt. Veeder and Howell Mountain vineyards and then sources the fruit for their Diamond Mountain Cabernet which is from a fairly steep vineyard. We started with the Diamond Mountain – this wine is all about the fruit both in aroma and continuing to the palate. Various spices add to the depth of this wine with a moderate tannin structure on the finish. The Howell Mountain is a beautiful wine which has an exotic fruit driven nose that is almost floral in nature. It is the most aromatic of the three wines. Some of the richer Howell Mountain Cabernets that we have tried have notes of chocolate in the mid palate and this full bodied wine is no different. Herbal characteristics continue through to the intense and lingering finish.
Lastly is their Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon. The nose is subtle and the least aromatic of the three wines. Its aromas however, disguise just how big this wine is! It is decidedly the darkest of the trio, a deep purple in color. The wine is very well structured with an amazing depth of flavor including blackberry and black currant. Their Mount Veeder is for serious Cab drinkers who enjoy a big wine, or don’t mind cellaring for a number of years. This vintage has received a phenomenal rating from Robert Parker. It was also paired with a Cabra al Romero Spanish cheese coated with finely sautéed rosemary leaves that was out of this world. Delicious! Note, this wine will be made, probably by the 2009 vintage at the old Chateau Potelle Winery on Mt. Veeder which is now being totally renovated. Visit: www.lokoya.com