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The Santa Julia Reserva Malbec 2018 is 100% Malbec sourced from Estate vineyards in the Uco Valley in the southwest corner of the Mendoza Valley in Argentina.
Santa Julia is one of the labels produced by Familia Zuccardi Estates which has been in the wine business since the 1950s. Santa Julia was started in 1982 and Julia in the name is the founders’ only daughter.
This is a side note, I have not tasted the Malbec yet. I have found that whenever a winery names a wine or a label after a loved one, they do not mess around. Certain standards are always met, corners are not cut. This is a wine I found on-sale for under ten dollars, but I expect it to be made with great care.
The actual name of this particular bottling from Santa Julia is the Winemakers Reserve, which is not shown on their website. They do have a Malbec simply labeled Reserva which is in the same price range and is also sourced from Uco Valley.
This brand name seems to a wine only found at a local very large chain of liquor stores. Are they the same wines with a different label? It looks like they are similar if not exact.
They both seem to be sourced from the same vineyards, the back label refers to this wine as a Reserva, the price is about the same, and both have an alcohol content of 14%.
The Reserva was aged for 10 months in French oak barrels and unless the Winemakers Reserve is an unoaked Malbec, this bottling probably has similar oak treatment. That will get figured out in the tasting portion of this post.
Familia Zuccardi is a leader in organic farming in Argentina. While the vineyards used for the Santa Julia Reserve Malbec 2018 are not certified organic, they are located at such altitude (3130 and 4600 feet, these are the foothills of the Andes) that most pests and disease that can plague grapevines are not present. These vineyards can be farmed with little intervention.
Santa Julia Reserve Malbec 2018 Tasting Notes
The color is a deep dark cranberry red. The nose is blackberry, bacon fat, licorice, light herbs, a little spice, a whiff of smoke, cherry, and a faint floral note.
This is a medium to full-bodied wine with bold flavors. It starts with extracted blackberry, cola, black pepper, and exotic spice.
The mid-palate brings in a little vanilla, some black cherry, and Nestles chocolate powder. The tannins are dusty, they are in the flavor profile, but do not bite. The acidity is well integrated into the body of the wine.
- The Santa Julia Reserve Malbec 2018 is a lot of wine for the money, I found it for under $10 and it drinks far beyond that price.
- Malbec was all the rage a few years ago, I think Rose’ knocked it off its pedestal and I kind of forgot about Malbec.
- I am glad I rediscovered Malbec it makes for a terrific value-priced drink-it-now red wine. You do not have to spend a great deal of money to find a satisfying wine.