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MATT DEES 2010 VINTAGE TASTING NOTES

WINE ADVOCATE 2010 RATINGS


2010 El Desafio de Jonata Cabernet Sauvignon
Absolute 2010! There was only one pick taken from nearly every block of merlot, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc and petit verdot. This complex blend shows the pronounced voice of each individual block and grape variety. The grapes were sorted in the vineyard during harvest to allow us to dodge the curve balls thrown at us in the form of numerous October rains. The best of the best and sadly the only Bordeaux lot worthy of the Jonata name in 2010. Unmatched in its layers of aromatic complexity, with decadent black fruit, hints of pepper, cool mineral notes, and the perfect touch of herbaceaousness. For those bemoaning the loss of Alma, the higher than normal percentage of cabernet franc in this blend comes screaming out of the glass with lavender and a cool minty side. The black fruit from the cabernet acts as the anchor with silky texture and a strong backbone of structure. Some flesh and plummy sweetness from the merlot rounds out the mid palate. The true miracle wine and a blend that speaks volumes to the powerful personality and toughness of the Jonata vineyard. Tightly coiled like the sangiovese with dusty tannins that will reward patience in the cellar. An unforgettable Desafio! The ultimate act of defiance; a ripe, layered and luscious Bordeaux blend from a patience-trying vintage.


2010 La Sangre de Jonata Syrah
An explosively aromatic wine with jasmine, black pepper and hard blackberry candies. Though it is the most powerful of the Jonata reds in 2010, it also already strikes me as the most cohesive and complete at this stage. Unforgettable purity of fruit throughout and a remarkable weight on the palate. This wine boasts the most velvety midpalate of any Sangre to date. It flows across the palate with incredible energy and unmatched power. Seamless! The tannins build slowly at the start and form a formidable tower that will certainly reward cellaring. 2010 Sangre strikes me as a blend between the best aspects of the 2008 and 2009 Sangre in its combination of impenetrable black fruit, formidable extract and surprising brightness.


2010 Tierra Sangiovese
Classy and elegant. A Tierra that shows off the increasing maturity of the vines. Less overt toast from oak, more purity of fruit and perfume. More Tierra on every level. Mid-weight with brambly, peppery, smoky and gamey notes. Bay leaf and sweet tobacco. Darker fruit than previous vintages. Sweet and savory. The wine shows the warmth of September in richness of black cherry fruit and increased density on mid-palate, while the cool summer weather promoted higher acidity and charmingly rustic and lingering tannins lend. These rugged yet mouthwatering tannins start early and grip the entire tongue. Though still very young and concealing a part of its fruit potential, this Tierra shows incredible length. A young sangiovese that strikes me as the most tightly coiled vintage to date with the most upside potential in the cellar.


2010 Todos Vineyard Blend
Knock out nose with charcoal, black plum, graphite and black olive. Lifted gamey syrah with a hint of cool climate spice. The beauty and bold voice of ripe and hedonistic syrah dominates the nose, but shares the stage with cabernet sauvignon on the palate. Suave black fruit intermingles with herbal notes and a dusty and earthy charm. Well-endowed with heaps of dry extract that arrives in layers. A wine that achieves a great level of tension; ripe and round fruit, framed by taut acidity and bold tannins. Leaves a mouthwatering cooling, minty sensation on the finish. With all ten grapes we grow at the ranch accounted for in the blend, Todos is a fantastic snap shot of what makes 2010 at Jonata so special.


2011 Flor Sauvignon Blanc
With every new vintage of Flor, I feel that we are reaching new heights of balance, charm, power, and subtlety. The vines gain an extra year of maturity and grow deeper roots and the wines seem to respond directly and gain a new level of depth of their own. The nose is pure Flor with pungent notes of orange zest, lemon blossom, sweet custard, and dried chamomile. Sémillon adds an extra dimension of poignancy on the palate. The dance between the fat of sémillon and the zing of sauvignon blanc is fine tuned in this offering. Higher acidity than the previous offering (a la the brilliant and cool conditions of 2011) adds a level of precision to the long finish. My favorite Flor to date (no offense to Flor's '05 through '10) and one I am anxious to revisit in five and then ten years.