2010 Jonata Winery El Desafio de Jonata

Cabernet Sauvignon

  • USA
  • California
  • Central Coast
  • Santa Ynez Valley

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Community Tasting Note

  • msuwright wrote: 94 points

    April 1, 2019 - This earthy and integrated Cabernet blend is drinking impressively right now, with an Old World sophistication that I've never tasted from the Central Coast. Dark garnet in color with a brick-colored rim; full in body; nose of boysenberry, cocoa powder, gravel, and bay leaf. Tastes of blackberry, espresso, green olive, and eucalyptus, with a dusty tannins and a pleasant sweetness. Blend of 43% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Cabernet Franc, 11% Merlot, and 14% Petit Verdot. 14.5% alcohol.

    This doesn't have the silkiness or depth of a fine aged Napa Cabernet, but it's quite good. I think the main issue with this - and many Paso / Central Coast Cabernets - is the mid-palate, which seems abbreviated and leaves the wine tasting a bit too fruity, dusty, and acidic (kind of like a Brunello). This isn't my personal preference, but this wine is as good as I've tasted from the Central Coast (note JonnyG's helpful comment below, too, about the appellation). Drink in next few years.

    1 person found this helpful 1,031 views


  • JonnyG commented:

    4/2/19, 5:29 AM - A much appreciated note as I’m a fan of Jonata, especially with age. Just wanted to call to your attention that Jonata and its vineyards are located in the Santa Ynez Valley wine district, specifically the Ballard AVA, some 90 or so miles from Paso Robles, which may account for some of the differences you perceived. Jonata’s are amongst the best expressions of Bordeaux varietals on the Central Coast IMO. You can also look for reds from the Happy Canyon appellation, which generally gets warmer and is well suited to Cabernet, not that Jonata is easily topped. Cheers!

  • msuwright commented:

    4/2/19, 10:21 AM - Hi JonnyG - Thanks so much for the clarification; I corrected the note above. I'm not a huge fan of the GSM blends, so I've usually just tasted the Cabernets from Jonata, L'Aventure, and a few others. I've enjoyed Jonata's the most - they can be a mouthful, but this 2010 bottle convinced me that they can age.

    If you have the chance, let me know if you have any recommendations in the region (broadly defined!). Thanks again.

  • JonnyG commented:

    4/2/19, 2:37 PM - My pleasure. Don't miss Jonata's "Alma" (Cab. Franc) bottling. I just had an awesome 2009. Apart from that, the region's best BDX would include the reserve bottlings from producers like Dierberg and Brander, though they may be hard to fine. Crown Point is an interesting, high-scoring effort with a great team behind it -- not for the oak-averse. Barrack Family Piocho is a very good value.

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