2013 La Sangre de Jonata Jonata

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Average critic rating : 96.5 points



The 2013 La Sangre de Jonata is magnificent. Usually a much darker wine, in 2013 the Sangre is noticeably bright, focused and also light on its feet, with plenty of vibrant red cherry flavors pushed forward. The interplay of rich fruit and livelier notes from the 10% whole cluster and a touch of Viognier is compelling. All things considered, the 2013 is remarkably refined for such an intense wine. Sep 2016, www.vinous.com, Drink: 2017-2023



Cofermented with 2% Viognier, the Syrah-dominated 2013 La Sangre de Jonata is another terrific 2013 from winemaker Matt Dees that checks in near the top of the vintage. Full-bodied, concentrated and with bright acidity, it reveals classic notes of black fruits, pepper, violets, spring flowers and tons of minerality. It will be better in another 2-3 years and keep for decade or more after that.

This Ballard Canyon estate pulls from estate vineyards, and the wines are made by Matt Dees, who's unquestionably one of the most talented winemakers in the central coast. The 2013s are all gorgeous wines that shows the more structured, age-worthy side to the vintage (which is the MO at this estate) and will benefit from short term cellaring. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to taste any 2014s, but I'll do my best to review these as soon as they're in bottle. Aug 2016, www.robertparker.com, Drink: 2019-2029

Based north of Santa Barbara in the Santa Ynez Valley, Jonata sold its first wine – the 2004 vintage – as recently as 2007. With a particular commitment to red grapes Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Syrah, Jonata’s 586 acres are cultivated wholly organically, with a dedication to sustainability and ethical farming that pervades across the range.

Under the same ownership as America’s most famous fine wine, Screaming Eagle, and considered by many to be its “sister” winery, Jonata is an estate at the very pinnacle of California winemaking. Winemaker is the exceptionally talented Matt Dees, who turned down a winemaking job at Screaming Eagle to remain at Jonata. The wines created at this extraordinary estate are seldom easygoing, but hugely concentrated and complex, with unorthodox varietal blending, ripe fruits and expensive oak in evidence as standard.

Range highlights include the eye-wateringly rare Todos, a Syrah-dominated blend made in annual batches of little more than 2,000 cases and described by the Wine Advocate’s Jeb Dunnuck as thrillingly concentrated. Elsewhere, the Bordeaux blend El Alma (“The Soul”) has scored highs of 97 points in the Wine Advocate, whilst Chapoutier Ermitage lookalike La Sangre (“The Blood”) has scored a near-perfect 98-100 points with Robert Parker.

Normally only available via a tightly controlled mailing list, Jonata wines are rarities and ones to seek out wherever possible, though demand perpetually outstrips supply.

“This estate continues to produce some of the most impressive, long-lived wines in Santa Barbara.” Jeb Dunnuck

“Jonata truly stands out in the Central Coast as a producer of exceptionally refined wines” Antonio Galloni

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