Jonata winemaker, Matt Dees, boasts an impressive resume having worked vintages at Staglin and Craggy Range while arming himself with a degree in plant science from the University of Vermont. Today, Matt is the man in charge of Screaming Eagles' sister winery, Jonata. Matt's winemaking style is from the ground up and it all starts with the vines, soil, and terroir. Matt wants to vineyards to speak for themselves, and he puts his talents on display from vintage to vintage. His peers have dubbed him a "natural winemaker," someone who was born to cultivate outstanding wines. Jonata may not share the same price tag as its sibling, Screaming Eagle, but the quality of winemaking is evident in every sip.
Dedicated to expressing a range of red—and a handful of white—wines from its estate in the Central Coast of California’s Ballard Canyon appellation within Santa Ynez Valley, Jonata is one of a new breed of producers throughout the world who are thriving with a non-traditional amalgam of varieties and blends. With a commitment in particular to Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Syrah, and informed by cutting edge viticulture, winemaking, and a Polyface approach to their estate, the Jonata wines are on the vanguard of an emerging quality movement in California winegrowing.
Jonata is dedicated to sustainability from the inside out; a principled approach to farming. With its use of Polyface farming—as first introduced to America by Michael Pollan in his book “The Omnivore’s Dilemma”—Jonata integrates and revolves livestock (chickens, turkeys, goats, pigs, and sheep) in their farming model, which naturally enhances the soil and health of their land not to mention that of the critters themselves and the Jonata community!
Tasting Notes: Red Wine. 56% Syrah, 14% Cabernet Franc, 10% Petit Verdot, 10% Sangiovese, 7% Petite Sirah, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Viognier. Lovely balance between savory and sweet. Blackberry and black cherry, Mesquite, and black truffle. Notes of violets, pepper, and five-spice powder. Floral, fruit-driven, and effusively aromatic. Smoky, sweet, and decadent with a massive core of black fruit. Dusty tannins start early and slowly encompass the entire palate. Earthy and complex, but ultimately round and generous with tannins that stretch the fruit to greater lengths. Tremendous grip. Absolutely beautiful today with some air. A decadent and towering Todos.
Graphite, pencil, lead, smoked earth, tobacco, and assorted dark fruits emerge from the 2015 Todos, and it’s its usual, crazy blend of just about every varietal. This beautifully pure, fresh, focused blend has fine tannin and a great finish, and is another stunner from this estate. The full blend is 56% Syrah, 14% Cabernet Franc, 10% Petit Verdot, 10% Sangiovese, 7% Petite Sirah, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the balance Viognier. ~94 Jeb Dunnuck
In the words of Jonata Winemaker Matt Dees, the rough recipe for the “Todos” blend is “~50% Syrah, ~30% Cabernet Sauvignon, and ~20% chaos.” A blend of both red and white varietals from the Rhône, Bordeaux, and Italy, this avant-garde blend manages to successfully express the expansiveness of the property from which it comes. The nose is massive and dark, containing aromas of bramble, mesquite, and burning embers. The palate is laden with roasted black and blue fruits, glued together by tree sap and black pepper. A truly unique powerhouse of a wine. ~94 Decanter
Here’s a kitchen sink blend that truly works: composed of 56% Syrah, 14% Cabernet Franc, 10% Petit Verdot, 10% Sangiovese, 7% Petite Sirah, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Viognier, the 2015 Todos Proprietary Red Wine has a medium to deep garnet-purple color and a lifted red berries/cherries nose with hints of spice box, Sichuan pepper, dried herbs, and fragrant earth. Medium to full-bodied, it fills the palate with red and black fruit layers, structured by firm, finely grained tannins and finishing with a refreshing lift. ~93 Wine Advocate
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