On Wednesday 15th November, IG Wines had the pleasure of co-hosting a private client dinner alongside charismatic winemaker, Chris Carpenter. This exploration of Mountain Winemaking was accompanied by a delectable array of dishes at London’s exclusive private members club, Ten Trinity Square.
“Our goal is for Lokoya to be something that people in the wine world will recognize forever.”
– Winemaker Chris Carpenter
Proceedings started with an amuse bouche of saffron arancini with 42 month dry-aged parmesan foam that paired exceptionally with the 2020 La Jota W.S. Keyes Chardonnay. Its incredible freshness and vibrancy was the antithesis of the weighty stereotypical Napa Chardonnays. For our starter of fois gras terrine served with fig, plum, yuzu sake and toasted brioche, Lokoya’s Cabernet Sauvignon, Diamond Mountain District 2019 and 2009 showed beautifully with opulent dark fruits with mocha spice. Whilst the pairing of Lokoya Cabernet Sauvignon, Spring Mountain District 2019 and 2009 with the wild mushroom ravioli with smoked parmesan foam brought out the savoury and oriental spices in the wines. The main course received an incredibly warm welcome on this cold November night; slow cooked short rib with celeriac puree, fried leeks and a beef demi-glace. Lokoya Cabernet Sauvignon, Howell Mountain 2019 and 2009 were served alongside and had wonderfully rich, velvety textures. Rounding off the fantastic evening in traditional fashion with a selection of British cheeses and Lokoya Cabernet Sauvignon, Mount Veeder 2019 and 2009 which were perhaps the most Pauillac-like of the collection.
Throughout the evening, Chris talked us through each individual site and had us visualise where they each are located geographically, and how both their position and soil types result in such unique wines with their own distinctive characters. What was most illuminating about pairing the 2019s and 2009s was just how easy it could have been to confuse these 2 vintages. The 2019s have such fine and supple tannins that they are easy to enjoy even in their youthful stage, while the 2009s are still incredibly youthful with explosive primary fruits and a more classical tannic structure that indicate many decades more of life. These are wines that are built for a lifetime of enjoyment.
Established in 1995, Lokoya produces four distinct Cabernet Sauvignons from some 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. They express tension, immense structural expression and are balanced by layer upon layer of aromatic intensity. Lokoya’s profound tannin structure enables these wines to age incredibly and are meant to lay down and mature for 30 years or more.
A Napa Valley legend, Chris Carpenter oversees 16 different vineyards, including Lokoya, La Jota and Cardinale. With a degree in viticulture and enology from the University of California as well as hands-on experience in Italy, Chris returned and settled in Napa. Chris has since developed and perfected his focus on producing wines that are expressive of the AVA to which they belong, and in turn these wines have become highly sought after by collectors around the world.