While there are several characteristics to wine that I enjoy discussing and writing about in reviews, my quest ultimately boils down to two critical measures: 1) Is it good? And 2) Is it affordable? The sweet spot is when a wine does well in both measures. But when it comes to wines I’ll recommend, it’s a bit of a sliding scale. If a wine is really affordable and pretty good, I’ll recommend it. Or if a wine is really good and a little more expensive (but still under $20), I’ll recommend that one too. I should note that the ratings I give wines are not on the sliding scale, only recommendations… ratings are purely qualitative, regardless of price.
This particular wine is one that is really affordable and good, but not exceptionally good. However, given the awesome price, this is a wine I can recommend.
Another factor that can influence recommendations is the producer. Sometimes I’ll find a very good and very affordable wine from a bulk producer, but I’ll be reluctant to recommend it due to concerns about consistency. I get more excited when I find a great, affordable wine from a smaller producer who not only produces the wine, but also grows the grapes that go into it.
Santa Julia Organica is one of the brands produced by Familia Zuccardi, a family-owned vineyard and winery in Mendoza, Argentina. The winery was founded in 1963 by Alberto V. Zuccardi, and is now run by his son, José Alberto Zuccardi.
Familia Zuccardi produces a few different labels of Malbec (as well as other varieties) and from what I’ve seen, the Santa Julia line is the most affordable. But even within the Santa Julia label, there are a few different product lines with different price points. The Santa Julia Organica wines I’ve seen priced at about $10 or less, and I found this one for about $8.00. That’s right, an organic wine for $8.00!
I assume that this wine has not touched oak. I didn’t see anything in the production notes about oak and I didn’t taste or smell anything that was indicative of oak. This is probably part of the reason this wine is so affordable, as oaking wine adds to the production costs.
Chocolate covered cherries is the best way to describe the nose on this wine. There is a slight floral aroma too. The palate is relatively fruity, but not jammy, and not a fruit bomb. It’s mostly cherry and blackberry on the palate, with a hint of cocoa. It’s not quite as big as I expect of a Malbec, but it’s good. The finish is rather short, but at 8 bucks I’m not complaining. This is definitely a good wine for the price.
Wine: Santa Julia Organica
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