2013 The Hilt Vanguard Chardonnay Jonata

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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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