Jonata

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Jonata: The Importance

If a wine ever deserved the label of ‘cult wine’, it is surely Jonata. Based north of Santa Barbara in the Santa Ynez Valley, Jonata only launched its debut 2004 vintage in 2007. In the years since it has already become one of the most sought-after names in California.

 

Jonata is under the same ownership as America’s most famous fine wine, Screaming Eagle, and is considered by many to be its “sister” winery. It is a huge hitter in its own right: Jonata’s exceptionally talented head winemaker Matt Dees actually turned down an offer to move to Screaming Eagle in order to remain at Jonata.

 

If the critics’ comments are anything to go buy, Dees means business. Jeb Dunnuck wrote that “the common thread [of Jonata’s wines] is incredible quality” and that Dees is “unquestionably one of the most talented winemakers in the central coast”. Antonio Galloni agrees, calling them “a producer of exceptionally refined wines”.

 

Jonata’s wines are normally only available via a tightly controlled mailing list and with demand perpetually outstripping supply, making them extremely difficult for even the most dedicated wine collectors to source. We are proud to have a good relationship with Jonata, allowing us to offer their wines to our clients direct.

 

Jonata: The Insight

Jonata’s wines are characterised by their huge concentration and complexity. The estate has a particular commitment to red grapes Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Syrah, but unorthodox varietal blends (Jeb Dunnuck has been know to refer to them as "kitchen sink" blends from time-to-time) are standard, as are ripe fruits and rich oak. The 586 acres are cultivated wholly organically, with a dedication to sustainability and ethical farming that pervades across the range.

 

Heading up the range are the trio of Bordeaux blends produced in Ballard Canyon in the Santa Ynez Valley. El Alma (“The Soul”) has scored highly in the Wine Advocate, whilst Chapoutier Ermitage lookalike La Sangre (“The Blood”) has previously scooped a near-perfect 98-100 points with Robert Parker. Completing this collection is El Desafio (“The Defiance”), a massively powerful wine with great structure. It is clear to see why Jeb Dunnuck calls Jonata’s wines “some of the most impressive, long-lived wines in Santa Barbara.”

 

Other notable entries to the eye-wateringly rare line-up include the Todos, a Syrah-dominated blend made in annual batches of little more than 2,000 cases a year, and the Fenix Merlot. Jonata has also produced a Sangiovese (Tierra), a Petit Verdot (Fuerza), a Sauvignon Blanc (Flor) and dessert wine (La Miel). These have traditionally been made in miniscule quantities – as few as 22 cases per vintage for some wines in some years – so they are rare as gold dust.

 

Jonata: The Background

Jonata was founded in 2000 by investment banker and wine lover Charles Banks, and later purchased by real estate developer Stan Kroenke in the Santa Ynez Valley in Santa Barbara. When the site was first chosen, it raised eyebrows among many experts: the area was not known for its fine wine, and the sandy soils native to the site seemed unconducive to growing excellent grapes. In fact, when Banks contracted a viticultural team from Pauillac’s Château Latour to assess the proposed vineyard, their conclusion was that the soil was too sandy to support vines. Instead, they suggested that Jonata focused on asparagus.

 

Luckily for the wine world, Jonata ignored this advice. Banks set about assembling an expert team of winemakers, which included Staglin Family Vineyards winemaker Matt Dees. However Jonata proved the doubters wrong: their 2007 vintage was met with huge support from Robert Parker, which drew attention from all over the world. According to Dees: “When people thought of California they thought of Napa – and for good reason. It has 40-50 years of producing world class wines. Now people are embracing the fact that we’re not Napa. We’re six hours south from there and we don’t have to be those wines.”

 

They certainly don’t. Jonata now commands some of the highest prices – and the greatest prestige – of any wine in California, and all the signs indicate that their popularity will only continue to soar.

SHOW MORE
results   
WINES COLLAPSE ALL

MARKET PRICE    ?

2013 El Alma de Jonata Jonata

95.0

2013 El Alma de Jonata

95.0
£1,207.00
£603.00

2008 El Alma de Jonata Jonata

2008 El Alma de Jonata

£1,732.00
£1,732.00

2007 El Desafio de Jonata Jonata

2007 El Desafio de Jonata

£1,683.00
Duty Paid £142.00

2013 La Sangre de Jonata Jonata

96.5

2013 La Sangre de Jonata

96.5
£1,647.00
£1,647.00

2011 La Sangre de Jonata Jonata

96.0

2011 La Sangre de Jonata

96.0
£1,077.00
£1,077.00

2010 La Sangre de Jonata Jonata

2010 La Sangre de Jonata

£1,732.00
£1,732.00

2014 The Hilt Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir Jonata California

2014 The Hilt Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir California

£381.00
£35.00

2013 The Hilt Vanguard Pinot Noir Jonata

2013 The Hilt Vanguard Pinot Noir

£413.00
£207.00

2012 The Hilt Vanguard Pinot Noir Jonata

93.0

2012 The Hilt Vanguard Pinot Noir

93.0
£432.00
£217.00

2013 Todos Jonata

94.0

2013 Todos

94.0
£701.00
£701.00

2012 Todos Jonata

93.0

2012 Todos

93.0
£474.00
£474.00
£238.00

2010 Todos Jonata

2010 Todos

£761.00
£761.00

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