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.
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.