2013 Jonata, Red Blend “Todos” Ballard Canyon, Santa Ynez Valley.
The Jonata Todos, made by the very highly regarded Matt Dees, one of California’s great new generation winemakers, is a fascinating red blend from tiny yields on their estate vineyards, set on the Jonata, where the winery gets it’s name, sandy soils. The few years of bottle aging has helped allow this intriguing wine open more fully and expand it’s complexity, the blend is really unique being a mixed of about 56% Syrah, 14% Cabernet Franc, 10% Petit Verdot, 10% Sangiovese, 7% Petite Sirah, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Viognier! The grapes were farmed to perfection by Ruben Solorzano, the hugely talented vineyard manager, who is the vineyard manager at Stolpman Vineyards, it is amazing how much fruit they dropped to achieve the results in the bottle, from what I understand the yields were just 25% of the normal size, which certainly shows it in the intensity and depth of flavors in this wine. Dees and his team got loads of concentration in this 2013 Jonata Todos with a deep sense of the Syrah leading the way, with a nod to a Cornas, the amount of whole cluster adds to that palate impact and impression with plush blue and black fruits and heightened savory notes and nervy energy. The chewy mouth is filled with layers of boysenberry, black raspberry, plum and dark sweet cherry fruits along with dried lavender, mixed pepper with cracked black and red flakes, anise, light cedar notes, cinnamon and lingering cassis. With air you get even more with earth, stones and leather coming through, with the other varietals having more of a say in this very purple/garnet red, as well as some subtle oak framing, and while a touch rustic this wine is forward and California plush and wonderfully expressive from start to finish, Dees deserves a ton of credit for the quality here, and be sure to check out some his other projects like is amazing Pinot(s) he does under the Mail Road and especially his Hilt from awesome plots in Sta. Rita Hills including Radian and Bentrock! Dees, with a degree in Soil Science from the University of Vermont, has done vintages at Staglin in Napa and Craggy Range in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, is a believer in holistic vineyard practices and wants to transmit the terroir into the wine, this is a worthy work in progress and the wines are excellent, in particular this Todos, a modern field style blend, it’s a wine that should age well and be rewarding with robust cuisine.
($56 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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