2005 Jonata "El Desafio de Jonata" Santa Ynez Cabernet Sauvignon (stained labels)

SKU #1052583 94-96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The opaque purple-hued 2005 El Desafio de Jonata (100% Cabernet Sauvignon) possesses beautiful notes of blue and black fruits along with hints of charcoal, graphite, and spice. This impeccably made offering sets a new reference point for what Cabernet Sauvignon can achieve in Santa Ynez. There is no herbaceousness to this wine, but rather, extraordinary complexity, depth, purity, and harmony. This is a tour de force in viticultural management/winemaking. (RP)  (8/2007)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 (93% cabernet sauvignon, 5% merlot and 2% petit verdot) Opaque ruby. Pungent cherry and blackcurrant aromas are complicated by exotic floral and Indian spice qualities. Bitter cherry and dark chocolate flavors gain sweetness with air, fleshing out and carrying through a long, sappy finish. Manages to be lush and sweet but also poised, offering an impressive balancing act of tannins and ripeness. This has excellent hang time. This, too, is much more impressive than the maiden 2004 release. (JR)  (11/2007)

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Price: $119.99
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Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Santa Maria/Santa Barbara

- Santa Maria and Santa Ynez make up the two AVAs of Santa Barbara County, an area known for its natural beauty and temperate climate. The best grape-growing areas, however, are located on the very coastal reaches of these two appellations, and are cooled by ever-present fog and ocean breezes (it is even cooler and foggier here than Carneros!). As expected, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir thrive while the more inland zones lay claim to Bordeaux varietals and some Rhône blends.