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2008 VINTAGE RECAP

2008 El Desafio de Jonata Cabernet Sauvignon
93 Points
The Wine Advocate # 196  August 2011
The 2008 El Desafio de Jonata is layered with fresh, vibrant dark blackberries, blueberries, licorice, spices and leather. It shows marvelous intensity all the way through to the long, resonant finish. A blast of dark fruit, grilled herbs and cassis lingers on the close. In 2008 El Desafio de Jonata is 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Merlot. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2018.

94 Points
Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar Oct/Nov 2011
Glass-staining purple. Seductively perfumed nose displays black and blue fruits, mocha, vanilla and incense, along with a strong suggestion of candied rose. Offers a suave marriage of density and energy, with intense flavors of dark berry compote, chewing tobacco, spicecake and floral pastilles. Finishes chewy and sweet, with integrated tannins and strong lingering spiciness.

96 Points
James Suckling October 2011
This 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot, 4% Cabernet Franc and the rest Merlot shows impressive aromas of red currants and roses. Full-bodied, but racy and linear with firm tannins and bright acidity. This is excellent. So precise and clear. Give this four or five years of bottle age.


2008 El Alma de Jonata Cabernet Franc
95 Points
The Wine Advocate # 196  August 2011
The 2008 El Alma de Jonata is dazzling. It possesses striking inner perfume, fresh, beautifully delineated fruit and world-class elegance. Layers of plush, dark fruit caress the palate in this pedigreed wine. The 80% new barrels are felt in the wine’s breadth and richness, but there is enough fruit to handle the oak. In 2008 the blend is 75% Cabernet Franc, 10% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Petit Verdot. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2020.

93 Points
Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar Oct/Nov 2011
A perfumed, kaleidoscopic bouquet displays scents of dark berry preserves, vanilla, licorice pastille, cola and pipe tobacco, with an intense overlay of floral oils. Broad, fleshy and sweet, offering intense blackcurrant and blueberry flavors that stain the palate. The vanilla and spice notes build strongly through the very long, sappy, penetrating finish. Impressively energetic for such a rich wine, and the tannins are strikingly harmonious.

95 Points
James Suckling October 2011
This pure Cabernet Franc shows wonderful aromas of leafy roses with incense and dark fruits. Full-bodied, with firm tannins and a gorgeous finish. Loads of fruit but sleek and racy. Dusty tannins. Excellent. Better in 2013.


2008 La Sangre de Jonata Syrah
95 Points
The Wine Advocate #196 August 2011
The 2008 La Sangre de Jonata is a huge, opulent wine. Layers of blue and black fruit, graphite and licorice flow from this large-scaled, muscular Syrah. This is a super-ripe style that needs a few years in bottle to settle down. It is also the only wine I tasted where the alcohol is slightly intrusive. La Sangre de Jonata is 98% Syrah and 2% Viognier. The wine was aged in medium-sized barrels, 50% new. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2022.

94 Points
Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar Oct/Nov 2011
Opaque purple. Ripe, expansive aromas of boysenberry, cassis, vanilla and violet, complicated by olive and cracked pepper nuances and a hint of cola. Lush and densely packed, offering sweet, broad black and blue fruit flavors and sexy oak spice qualities. Dusty tannins add shape and grip to the very long, spice- and smoke-accented finish, which echoes the cassis and vanilla notes. Nothing shy about this big boy.

97  Points 
The Rhone Report  November-2010
Looking as good as the ’07 (and that’s saying something), the 2008 Jonata Winery La Sangre de Jonata is a blend of 98% syrah and 2% Viognier that was aged in 50% new French oak and 50% neutral French oak (mostly larger barrels) for 21 months. It exhibits a deep purple, opaque color to go with extraordinary aromatics of bramble-laced black fruits, charcoal, iron, blood, and meaty nuances. While a big wine, it stays beautifully pure and fresh on the nose. Full bodied with serious concentration, a pure, layered texture, and loads of silky tannin that carries into a rich, chocolate tinged finish, this fantastic beauty will no doubt be very long lived. I would give bottles 3 to 5 years of bottle age and then drink over the following 10 to 15 years.

2008 Todos Vineyard Blend
92 Points
The Wine Advocate #196 August 2011
The 2008 Todos (mostly Syrah) bursts from the glass with expressive blackberries, blueberries, smoke, tar and incense. It is an exotic, full-bodied wine supported by considerable freshness and vibrancy. It naturally doesn’t have the exuberance of the estate’s best wines, but the price tag is also much more modest. A clean, layered finish rounds things out nicely. In 2008 the blend is 65% Syrah, 17% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot and the rest assorted other varieties. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2016.

91 Points
Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar Oct/Nov 2011
Dark purple. Smoky cherry and dark berry aromas are complicated by notes of pipe tobacco, musky underbrush and cola. Broad and sappy, with a dense, chewy texture and liqueur-like cherry and cassis flavors. Powerful but lively blend with a long, spicy finish and lingering smokiness.

94 Points 
The Rhone Report November-2010
The 2008 Jonata Winery Todos is a blend of 67% Syrah, 14% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot, 5% Merlot, 3% Viognier, 2% Sangiovese, 2% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Sauvignon Blanc, that was aged for 21 months in 50% new French oak (mainly larger format.) Possessing classic aromas of pure blackberry and cassis fruits, roasted meats, tobacco, violets, and loads of crushed stone on the nose, the wine is full bodied and beautifully textured on the palate, showing a dense and concentrated mid-palate, great acidity, and a tannic finish. Approachable now, this should drink well for a decade or longer.

95 Points
James Suckling October 2011
This has everything growing on the estate in it, but it's predominately Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, though there's even white varieties. Full-bodied with firm tannins and lots of fruit. Spices, coco, light toasted oak and berries. A thoughtful wine with impressive structure. Like the austerity. Drink or hold.


2008 Tierra Sangiovese
92 Points
The Wine Advocate #196 August 2011
The 2008 Tierra is predominantly Sangiovese, with the addition of 6% Syrah, which the estate uses to give the wine a little more mid-palate density, not a bad thing in a cooler year like 2008. Sweet wild cherries, leather, licorice and tobacco are woven together beautifully in this generous, inviting wine. The French oak (40% new) is a little prominent at this stage, but this is nevertheless a lovely effort. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2018.

92 Points
Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar Oct/Nov 2011
Saturated ruby. Fresh redcurrant and cherry aromas are complicated by notes of vanilla, dried rose and spicecake. Juicy and focused on entry, then broader in the mid-palate, showing very good clarity to its bitter cherry and floral pastille flavors. The cherry and spice notes repeat on a long, sweet, gently tannic finish. This is consistently one of the most successful takes on this variety from the New World.

93 Points
James Suckling Ocober 2011
This must be one of the best pure Sangioveses in California, with cherries, flowers and truffles on the nose. Full and firm with racy acidity and a long finish. Pure Sangiovese. Better in 2013.

2008 Fenix Merlot
93 Points
The Wine Advocate #196 August 2011
The 2008 Fenix is 70% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Petit Verdot and 8% Cabernet Franc. Sweet dark berries, plums, licorice and leather are some of the notes that jump from the glass in this boisterous, round red. Harmonious and plush through to the finish, this shows the prevalence of Merlot in its juiciness, but with the tannic backbone of the other Bordeaux varieties. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2018.

93 Points
Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar Oct/Nov 2011
Saturated ruby. Cherry-vanilla, pipe tobacco, mocha and spices on the intensely perfumed nose. Sappy, densely packed bitter cherry and blackcurrant flavors are lifted by tangy acidity and complicated by notes of vanilla and cracked pepper. Juicy and broad on the finish, with the cherry and mocha notes echoing. Very suave now but has the structure to age.

92 Points
James Suckling October 2011
Aromas of dark chocolate and berries with hints of new wood. Full-bodied with firm tannins and an oaky and fruity finish. Needs another two to three years. Release in October. Blend of 70% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Petit Verdot and 8% Cabernet Franc.


2008 Fuerza Petit Verdot
91 Points
The Wine Advocate #196 August 2011
The 2008 Fuerza is 94% Petit Verdot, 4% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Merlot. Layers of smoke, espresso, licorice, cassis and ash add complexity to a core of sweet, intense dark fruit. The Fuerza is a nicely balanced wine, but doesn’t quite have the tannic structure typical of Petit Verdot. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2018.

92 Points
Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar Oct/Nov 2011
Inky purple. Intensely perfumed aromas of violet, cassis and plum, with complicating notes of toasty oak and a touch of candied licorice. Supple, elegant and sweet but firm, with precise dark fruit compote flavors framed by smooth, supple tannins. Very long on the finish, with the dark berry note repeating.

95 Points
James Suckling October 2011
This pure Petit Verdot shows such a beautiful character of iodine, blood and dark fruits. Fresh acidity and beautiful fruit. It goes on and on. Superb density and class. Best after 2013, but hard not to enjoy now. Muscular. 100 cases.

2009 Flor  Sauvignon Blanc
90-92 Points
The Wine Advocate #196 August 2011
The 2009 Flor is a fresh, beautifully articulated white graced with succulent peaches and flowers. The mineral laced finish is elegant and highly expressive. In 2009 the blend is 67% Sauvignon and 33% Semillon. The 2009 Flor was aged in equal parts new oak, neutral oak and stainless steel. Only 10% of the wine went through malo. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2014

91 Points
Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar Oct/Nov 2011
Bright, green-tinged gold. Ripe, highly expressive aromas of powerful, smoke-accented peach, quince and floral honey, lifted by anise and dusty minerals. Dried pit fruits and poached pear on the palate, with a late jolt of bitter lemon zest adding energy. Finishes spicy and focused, leaving behind notes of honey and candied citrus fruits.