Santa Julia Reserva Mountain Blend Malbec (70%)-Cabernet Franc (30%) 2019

The winemaker’s description of the wine is actually pretty accurate: "Red violet with good intensity. Complex nose with Malbec – a bouquet of plums, cherries & jam expressing both spicy and vanilla notes, blending wonderfully with blueberry and violet aromas of the Cabernet Franc. In the mouth, Cabernet Franc adds dark fruit & spice to the velvet tannins and rich Malbec flavor, making a perfect combination that results in a complex, elegant wine of great concentration." The Wine Buyer – a retailer – more or less echoed the sentiments: “We first tried this amazing blend of high elevation Malbec & Cabernet Franc back in 2015 while visiting Argentina and the Santa Julia winery. Falling in love with the inaugural vintage, we quickly purchased every case and brought hundreds back to NJ. Without much press or ratings, this $10 red was so good, we sold out in weeks! Made by Familia Zuccardi, the largest family owned winery in Argentina, the Santa Julia project was founded in the early 1990s. Handcrafted from estate grown, handpicked fruit, the Mountain Blend is sourced from high elevation vineyards in the Uco Valley. The Malbec gives the wine typical aromas of red and black fruits: cherries, plums and jam while the Cabernet Franc adds dark fruit and tannins. If you ever wanted your Malbec with a bit more power, this Mountain Blend is for you.”

Critic James Suckling gave the wine 92 points, calling it “Tight and lively red with aromas and flavors of blackberries, licorice, stone and dust. Medium to full body. Creamy texture from the fine tannins.” The Wine Advocate’s Luis Gutiérrez reviewed the 2018 version of the wine, saying, “The wine is herbal and floral, and the palate is clean and vibrant, juicy, with round and lush tannins. It's a blend that seems to be working very well...."

I’ve seen the wine for sale at the unbelievably low price of $8.99, with a typical price being $9 and change.

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