Monday, June 22, 2015

Jonata Todo Santa Ynez Red Wine 2010

Jonata Todo Santa Ynez Red Wine 2010

Celebrating birth of son Ryan's son Reid, on the day he came home from the hospital, we stopped in to see the new grandson and Ryan opened this Jonata special sipper for the occasion.

This is my first tasting of this producer. I see their labels at the wine shop for $90 plus so they must be making some good juice to justify such price points. Jonata were established as a 'cousin' winery to Napa’s ultra-premium cult classic Screaming Eagle. They released their first vintage in 2004. Robert Parker called them “one of California’s most exciting new wineries” in a review and the lid was blown off.

According to their website, they call this their 'Everything Blend', and when you see the composition you see why. The winemaker's notes say the 2011 blend is 75% Syrah, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Grenache, 4% Sangiovese, 2% Viognier, 1% Petit Verdot, 1% Merlot. Wine reviewer Antonio Galloni says this 2010 release is "78% Syrah, 8% Sangiovese, 5% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon, plus a dollop of another half-dozen or so grapes."

Only Chateauneuf-du-Pape in the southern Rhone Valley sanctions such a diverse and extensive set of varietals in the mix with thirteen different varietals authorized. But this complex and diverse blend of varietals transcends both Bordeaux regional varietals in addition to those from the Rhone appellation. I often say that since the French have been doing this for over five hundred years, so they've pretty well figured out and refined, if not perfected the right combinations of grapes that are optimal for their terroir of their regions.

It seems Jonata need to figure out what this wine is supposed to be. We're big Syrah drinkers, probably the third most popular varietal in our cellar, but I had a hard time characterizing this blend. Perhaps it needs time to settle. It seems this wine may be a bit over-the-top with all these nuances in the blend. Drinking mostly Aussie Shiraz' or Syrah's we're accustomed to less complexity, more single dimensional with forward fruit sweetness.

Dark blackish garnet colored, full bodied, complex, concentrated forward black raspberry and blackberry fruits accented with layers of berry fruits with tones of dark chocolate and what the winemaker aptly calls 'charred steak, and a hint of jasmine from the Viognier'. I get the charred steak, I don't know what to make of the jasmine ... I might cal ll it a floral tone before turning to the creosote like cracked peppar on the tannin finish. It definitely calls for some bold cheese or better, bar-b-que to offset the boldness and the acidity. Perhaps it will settle with more time and find itself to reveal its true character ... find it what it wants to be when it grows up!  Can't wait to try this again in five and ten years.

RM 91 points.