Jonata 2011 El Alma De Jonata Santa Ynez Valley Cabernet Franc
VINEYARD RUMINATIONS: A wet winter, a rare spring frost episode and windy conditions at set formed an ominous trio for the beginning of the 2011 harvest. The resulting crop was greatly reduced. The average tonnage per acre on the Bordeaux grapes was well below 2 tons per acre, at 1.78. For our tight vine density, that yield is truly paltry. Syrah and sangiovese fared better, but both were down about 20% from the previous vintages. Enough with the negative as this is where it ends. Not all is gloom and doom in 2011. Spoiler alert: it is my favorite vintage to date. It is certainly our finest to date. At Jonata, I’ve learned to become a believer in silver linings. That is a big deal coming from me, as I have long been considered to have a pretty substantial pessimistic streak. This change of heart isn’t based on luck or chance or anything in between. It is based on the near miraculous ability of the Jonata vineyard to roll with the changes and deliver world class fruit across a huge spectrum of vintage conditions.
ON THE WINE: Heady and colorful nose of red fruit, black Kalamata olive, fresh green herbs and clean, brown earth. It is an experience just smelling this blend. Seductive stuff. A wine of balance and intrigue. Dark bittersweet chocolate, dried leaves, sweet tobacco, black tea and Luxardo cherries. Stays fresh and refined across the palate and finishes with a note of minty coolness and firm yet fine tannin. Cooler climate cabernet franc at its complete and complex best.
96 POINTS The Wine Advocate #208, August 2013
94 POINTS Antonio Galloni Vinous, July 2014