2006 Jonata "El Desafio de Jonata" Santa Ynez Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5L)

SKU #1271933 94-96 points 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)  (6/2008)

92 points 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)  (11/2008)

90 points 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.  (12/2010)

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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.