2006 Jonata "El Desafio de Jonata" Santa Ynez Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5L)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2006 El Desafio de Jonata, a blend of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Cabernet Franc, 6% Petit Verdot, and 1% Merlot, may be even better (it was scheduled to be bottled right after my visit). A beautiful black/purple color is accompanied by stunning aromas of creme de cassis, graphite, camphor, and incense. It exhibits tremendous intensity, beautiful sweet fruit, full-bodied power as well as purity, and a finish that lasts 45+ seconds. This amazing effort is the greatest Cabernet Sauvignon-based wine ever made in the Santa Ynez appellation. This remarkable Santa Ynez estate is under the same ownership as Napa Valley’s Screaming Eagle winery. While well-known Bordeaux consultant, Michel Rolland, and Screaming Eagle’s winemaker, Andy Erickson, play important roles at Jonata, the people most responsible for the quality of the wines are owners Charles Banks, Stan Kroenke, and winemaker Matt Dees... The 2006s and a handful of 2007 barrel samples I tasted suggest this is one of California’s most exciting new wineries. What they are accomplishing with Bordeaux varietals is mind-boggling. I have included these cuvees since some of the blends include Rhone varietals. (RP)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Cabernet Franc, 6% Petit Verdot and 1% Merlot) Deep ruby color. Musky cherry and cassis scents are complemented by tobacco, cedar and smoky herbs; this really smells like Bordeaux. Supple red berry, cherry and dark chocolate flavors combine intensity and depth, with fine-grained tannins adding structure. A very elegant and understated wine with excellent finishing clarity and persistence. (JR)
Wine & Spirits
A tightly structured Cabernet with tobacco and licorice scents, this wine's cool red fruit is enriched by powerful tannins. Give those tannins time to settle, then serve with grilled sirloin.