El Alma de Jonata 2006 Jonata
€ 119,79 (in. BTW)
Perhaps the greatest Cabernet Franc being made in California is Jonata’s El Alma de Jonata. The amazing 2006, a blend of 95% Cabernet Franc and the balance Cabernet Sauvignon and a dollop of Merlot, tastes like a liquid version of haute couture from Chanel. It possesses nobility, grace, and remarkable complexity. An inky/blue/purple color is accompanied by an extraordinary bouquet of blueberries, black raspberries, and graphite. In the mouth, it reveals wonderful elegance, precision, and laser-like focus along with noteworthy density and intensity for a wine dominated by Cabernet Franc. The varietal character is obvious, and the wine’s superb balance, purity, and well-integrated oak, acidity, and tannin are admirable. This beauty should hit its prime in 2-4 years, and last for 15-20.
This remarkable Santa Ynez estate is under the same ownership as Napa Valley’s Screaming Eagle winery. While well-known Bordeaux consultant, Michel Rolland, and Screaming Eagle’s winemaker, Andy Erickson, play important roles at Jonata, the people most responsible for the quality of the wines are owners Charles Banks, Stan Kroenke, and winemaker Matt Dees. Jonata’s debut vintage, the 2004s, were somewhat of a work in progress, but the 2005s convincingly established what compelling wines were about to emerge. The 2006s and a handful of 2007 barrel samples I tasted suggest this is one of California’s most exciting new wineries. What they are accomplishing with Bordeaux varietals is mind-boggling. I have included these cuvees since some of the blends include Rhone varietals.