Jonata’s winemaker is Matt Dees, and he has the kind of resume that makes other winemakers green with envy. Having previously worked at other noteworthy estates such as Staglin in Napa, and Craggy Range in New Zealand, Matt has learned how to coax the best out of several different grapes grown in a variety of climates.
ANTONIO GALLONI 97 POINTS - "The 2018s from Jonata are positively stellar. Like pretty much most estates, Jonata benefitted from a long, growing season with mostly benign conditions, although winemaker Matt Dees reported a bit more shatter and smaller berries in the Cabernet Sauvignon than normal. Over the last few years, the Jonata wines have become increasingly refined and nuanced. That is especially evident in 2018, a year that naturally favors freshness and vibrancy."
"Cabernet Sauvignon drives the 2018 El Desafio de Jonata. Light on its feet for such a big wine, the Desafio dazzles from the very first taste. Pencil shavings, licorice, lavender, spice, menthol and grilled herbs build in a stunning, deeply pitched Ballard Canyon red that hits all the right notes. The 2018 is simply magnificent. Don't miss it."
JEB DUNNUCK 95-97 POINTS - "Winemaker Matt Dees continues to fashion world class wines at Jonata. Due to the timing of my visit, the 2018s were tasted from barrel as opposed to bottle, hence the score range for the reviews. Regardless, this is a great vintage for the estate. The wines show the vintage's fresher, more elegant and seamless style and have similarities to the estate's 2016s. The 2019 vintage was the last vintage made at the old facility in Buellton, and starting in 2020, all of the wines will be made in a brand-new winery being built on the western edge of the Sta. Rita Hills."
"Mostly Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2018 El Desafio de Jonata has a big Cabernet nose of tobacco leaf and truffly earth as well as beautiful dark fruits, a touch of chocolate, medium to full-bodied richness, ripe tannin, and a great finish. The balance, polish, and elegance here, paired with plenty of concentration, is superb."