The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Helena Dakota displays more blackberry, blueberry and graphite, with some flowers such as violets, notes of pen ink, a full-bodied, concentrated, succulent and fleshy mouthfeel, and a long, long finish. This is another 25- to 30-year wine.
Bordelais winemaker Pierre Seillan, who makes these wines for the Kendall-Jackson empire, believes that this micro-terroir has exceptional potential. Not far from Peter Michael, it faces southwest and gets refreshing winds off the Pacific through the Petaluma Wind Gap. These are relatively big wines, but every year that I have tasted them, Seillan has fine-tuned the tannins so that they are abundant but sweeter and much better integrated. For those who keep score, these wines are kept 14-16 months in barrel, with the amount of new oak decreasing every year, and alcohol levels of 14.5-14.8%. There are two cuvées grown at different elevations, but both from southwest vineyards, with the Helena Montana at 950-100 feet, and the Helena Dakota at 650 feet or so.
The winemaker behind the Anakota high-elevation mountain vineyard sites in Knights Valley is no other than Pierre Seillan, the Bordelais guru who makes the fabulous wines of Vérité from the same proprietor, the Jackson family. There are two cuvées from various elevations in Knights Valley, the lower elevation called Helena Montana and the higher site, the Helena Dakota. Production of these cuvées ranges from the smallest in 2013, with just over 500 cases of each produced, jumping to 700-800 in 2014 and a whopping 1,000-1,300 in 2012 – the most generous of the three vintages. These are all 100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged in 100% French oak and are meant for long, long-term aging. I would suggest that these may be, potentially, the longest-lived wines being made in Knights Valley, even exceeding the potential age-worthiness of the Peter Michael Les Pavots cuvées that are made in this microclimate on the Sonoma side, but near the Napa County line. Tel. (866) 606-5696; www.anakota.com