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Friday, April 13, 2007

A good $6.99 Cabernet

Last night I tried the Santa Julia Organica Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 for the second time. I'm happy to report that it's not just a really good wine for the money, it's a really good wine!

It was robust and smooth, with firm but friendly tannins, poured straight from the bottle. A brief decant would benefit it, but sure isn't necessary. As is typical of Argentine Cabs, it is packed with rich flavors of dark fruit -- if you've had Finca Sophenia or Errazuriz Max Reserva, you already have some idea what to expect. That it retails for less than $10 and is made with organically-produced grapes makes it an outstanding offering.

Santa Julia is produced by Familia Zuccardi, who have been operating wineries -- initially as a way to demonstrate the effectiveness of patriarch Don Alberto's irrigation systems -- since 1963. The operation is now managed by Don Alberto's son, José Alberto, who named the Santa Julia line after his daughter. In that regard it is similar to the Elyse and Jacob Franklin wines, named by Napa winemaker Ray Coursen after his daughter and son, respectively.

Sort of along those same lines, The Old Ball and Chain dessert wine from Sineann and Tait's Ball Buster Shiraz are named after the winemakers' wives. Submitted without comment....
M. Zane Grey, 9:30 AM