Grape(s): Cabernet Sauvignon
Localization: Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California, USA
Tasting Notes: 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.
99 points James Suckling: Blackberry, blueberry, pine cone, and pine needle with some mushroom. So complex. Full-bodied with incredible depth and length. Layered. Super balance and strength, yet formed and not overdone. Harmony for Howell. Try in 2026.
Notes: At elevations ranging from 500 to 2,600 feet, these Napa mountain sites are rare in the world of Cabernet Sauvignon.
Lokoya’s mountain Cabernet bottlings express something different; there is a tension to the wines, and immense structural expression balanced by layer upon layer of aromatic intensity and textural hedonism. Highly sought after by collectors, the wines of Lokoya can be enjoyed for decades to come.
The Domain: Established in 1995, Lokoya is a collection of four distinct Cabernet Sauvignons from four of Napa Valley’s most celebrated mountain appellations: Mount Veeder, Howell Mountain, Spring Mountain, and Diamond Mountain. These limited-production wines are 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, fermented with native yeast, and bottled unfined and unfiltered, resulting in the purest expression of place.
Cabernet Sauvignon as a lens, site as conveyor—the grape variety and winemaking for the four wines remain consistent, allowing the vineyard sites to shine with the climate, soils, and sunlight all fully expressed in the glass.
Given the high elevation of the sites, the vineyards demand constant attention. The deep understanding of the vineyard trajectory in each vintage comes from Winemaker Christopher Carpenter’s years of expertise. Intervention is kept to a minimum both in the vineyard and in the cellar, leaving the fruit to express itself as naturally and eloquently as possible.