Utterly Complex Santa Ynez Valley Cabernet Franc

Today’s Story: Jonata

I previously wrote about Jonata twice, first in Why Wait for Screaming Eagle? when I reviewed the 2005 El Corazón de Jonata and then in Santa Ynez Sangiovese when I reviewed the 2010 Tierra.

Long story short, if you haven’t read these prior posts, Jonata is owned by Stan Kroenke who also owns the LA Rams and Screaming Eagle. Kroenke bought 586 acres of property, though only 84 acres are planted under vine, and like many wineries in the Santa Ynez Valley Jonata found success planting Rhône varietals such as Syrah but also grows Sangiovese and Bordeaux varietals. For more I’d steer you to my prior posts, particularly “Why Wait for Screaming Eagle?”.

Today’s Wine: 2006 El Alma de Jonata

95% Cabernet Franc, 4% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Merlot; 14.9% ABV

The 2006 El Alma de Jonata is opaque deep ruby in color. This needs some time in the decanter to fully blossom, but once it does the nose showcases aromas of blueberry, black raspberry, black cherry, cassis, black licorice, cedar, tobacco, graphite, chocolate, mild herbs, and a hint of vanilla. On the palate, this gorgeous wine offers notes of blackberry, blueberry, plum, violet and rose, cigar box, pencil shavings, wet rock, scorched earth, blood, and exotic spice. This wine is full-bodied with high acidity, medium (+) tannins, and a long finish. Utterly complex and constantly evolving in the glass, this Cabernet Franc is drinking beautifully now but has the structure to go another 7-10 years at least. 426 cases produced.

Price: $155 library release direct from winery. Jonata is producing arguably the best wines from the Santa Ynez Valley and for their complexity and rarity the price demonstrates that. Pair this with grilled steak, peppered chicken, or lamb.

Santa Ynez Sangiovese

Today’s Story: Jonata

Short and sweet again today, as I wrote about Jonata and a different wine in my post Why Wait for Screaming Eagle? back on October 16.

Long story short, if you haven’t read my prior post, Jonata is owned by Stan Kroenke who also owns the LA Rams and Screaming Eagle. Kroenke bought 586 acres of property, though only 84 acres are planted under vine, and like many wineries in the area Jonata found success planting Rhône varietals such as Syrah but also grows Sangiovese and Bordeaux varietals. For more I’d steer you to my prior post.

Today’s Wine: 2010 Tierra

95% Sangiovese, 5% Syrah; 14.9% ABV

This Sangiovese is medium to deep ruby in color. Once this opened up in the decanter, I got aromas of blackberry, blueberry, redcurrant, mocha, smoked game, leather, and black tea leaf. In the mouth, the wine showcases notes of black cherry, blackcurrant, anise, charred earth, smoke, dark chocolate, and espresso. Overall this doesn’t have as much red fruit as I imagined it might, with the wine drinking very dark. This is medium-bodied with high acidity, medium (+) tannins, and a long, inky finish with notes of ground coffee.

Price: $90. I’d love to see this closer to the $75 mark, but I do believe it is fairly priced given its rarity, library release status from the winery, and quality. Pair this with roasted game, a rare steak, or pasta with a beef and tomato sauce.