Why Buy: Cabernet Franc has been having a moment, and these two small-lot, site-driven, low-yield gems out of Napa Valley, 95 points and 93 points, are a showcase both of the exemplary craft of star winemaker Chris Carpenter (of Cardinale and Lokoya fame) and of some of the most extraordinary, high-elevation terroir  (Howell Mountain and Mount Veeder). Cabernet Franc at its most fully-realized and tenderly expressed. Glorious stuff.


What They're Saying: Jeb Dunnuck awarded 95 points to the 2019 from La Jota (the same as the Wine Enthusiast and James Suckling), hailing its "brilliant perfume," "medium-bodied richness," "terrific sense of elegance and purity," and "great finish." The Wine Advocate gushed over the 2014 from Mt. Brave, calling it, in a 93-point rave, a "deep and intense" wine of "beautiful texture," with "terrific uplift and vibrancy." 


The Story: Carpenter, who made his reputation at Lokoya and Cardinale, understands how to marry classicism with fruit-forwardness. He also knows how to let the terroir speak through his wines. In the case of the 2019 La Jota, that means Howell Mountain. Its volcanic soils (the picture-perfect estate literally sits on a volcanic plateau), high elevation, and diurnal temperature variations are gold for a winemaker like Carpenter. 

The great Mount Veeder, which sits on an ancient seabed, on the eastern slopes of the Mayacamas Range, supplies the foundation for the 2014 from Mt. Brave. The deep, rocky soils could hardly be more ideal for producing world-class wine. But no less important an influence on these grapes is the many micro-climates that result from the steep, twisting mountain slopes. In both wines, Carpenter's signature is as unmistakable as it is in his Cabernet Sauvignons: concentration, structure, and, above all, definition and focus.


Specs: The 2019 from La Jota is 100% Cabernet Franc, and was matured in two-thirds new French oak; the 2014 from Mt. Brave is 85% Cabernet Franc, with Cabernet Sauvignon making up the rest, and was aged in nearly two-thirds new French oak.


Our Tasting Notes: 

* The 2019 from La Jota is a textbook example of what mountain fruit brings: an unmissable power and structure, which adds flesh to the lovely, aromatic frame of Cabernet Franc to make for a wine of elegance and length, expressiveness and depth.

* We reveled in the 2014 from Mt. Brave, which delivered all the floral delicacy we love in a Cabernet Franc, but showed itself to be a wine of striking power and depth, with unexpected richness on the palate, and notes of spice and smoke that added complexity and framing.


What to Pair Them With: Pâté, roasted lamb with fennel seed and thyme, shakshouka, chicken mole, meatball subs; gnocchi with black truffles.


Fun Fact: Carpenter, according to the website Club Oenologique, "oversees some 16 vineyards in California plus half a dozen out of state."


Our Guarantee: We always buy and source direct, so you can be confident that your wines will arrive in your hands with pristine provenance. Secure yours today!


*Offer NOT valid in-store. This offer is made pre-arrival, with wines estimated to be delivered to your preferred store in Winter 2023 (Dec. 21st - Mar. 20th, 2024). All sale prices are the lowest available at Total Wine & More and ONLY valid through Concierge Sales. No further discounts or coupons may be applied. Offer not valid in KS, MI, NY, or TN. This offer is for ONE WEEK, or until sold out, and will expire on Thursday, November 9th, 2023.