24 August 2011

Santa Julia Wines

Santa Julia is a subset of the Argentine Zuccardi wine family, named after the young Julia Zuccardi. (Hey, more Italians in Argentine wine!) Everything is organic, done by hand, and cared for at every stage of the process. While they compost goat droppings and all of that, they do use a small amount of sulfites which means that the wines are not officially organic under U.S. law. This is a common problem that you run into not just with imports but also with some domestic produce: you can grow an organic product, but if you don't follow the precise letter of the law and get the proper certification, it's not Organic. It's a frustration that you'll hear often at the farmer's market.

I've seen some interesting things with wines from Argentina, but I really love it when winemakers focus on the particular grapes that seem to thrive there: Malbec, Torrontés, Bonarda, etc. Don't get me wrong, it's great when people experiment, but I've never had as much joy from an Argentine Cab Sav or Chardonnay as I have from the three or four grapes that truly flourish in the shade of the Andes.

2010 Santa Julia Malbec
$10, 13% abv.
Plum and a little nutty aspect on the nose. Roasted nut flavor continues on the palate with deep dark fruit flavors. Medium tannins, and a long finish. Solid middle of the week wine, and well recommended for something salty like a nice Reuben.

2010 Santa Julia Torrontés
$10, 13% abv.
I've seen a lot of Torrontés recently, and it's such a fun grape. This one has a nice peach and apricot aroma, but there's also this deeper dusty character combined with candied ginger that is amazing. While normally I'd pair a wine like this with shrimp or a salad, I really enjoyed this one all by its lonesome.

Note: These wines were received as samples.

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