96pts Jeb Dunnuck
Based on 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Franc, the 2016 El Desafio de Jonata is one of the more firm, focused wines in the lineup. Classic Cabernet blackcurrants, scorched earth, graphite, and crushed rock-like notes all flow to a concentrated, powerful, tannic wine that has considerable baby fat as well as length. It's not going to hit prime time until after a decade of bottle age, but it's a beautiful, remarkable Cabernet Sauvignon from Santa Barbara County that will keep for two decades. Rating: 96+
93pts Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2016 El Desafio de Jonata is made up of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot and 4% Cabernet Franc, aged in 85% new French oak. It has a deep ruby-black color and classic nose of cedar, pencil shavings, chocolate box and tobacco with cassis, wild blackberries, plum and damp earth. Full-bodied, it gives up luscious fruits in the mouth with savory and minerally accents, framed by firm, pleasantly chewy tannins and good freshness to lift, finishing long. 575 cases will be released this fall.
Another classic Jonata Cabernet Sauvignon with red fruit and fresh green herbs; cassis and the refined earthy qualities that make Jonata unique in this world. Focused and pure black fruit on the attack with an added intensity in 2016. A wine of tremendous freshness. Balsamic and tobacco. Like 95% cacao chocolate with hints of fresh mint. Power like the epic 2015, but with more freshness and perhaps even more impact. A statuesque and chiseled Cabernet with chewy tannin and a powerful backbone of acidity.
Blend: 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot, 4% Cabernet Franc