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A Chilled out Santa Julia Cabernet 2010

It was summer in Buenos Aires and we were experiencing a heat wave: temperatures
Posted 08th January 2011        

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It was summer in Buenos Aires and we were experiencing a heat wave: temperatures at 35°C and above are not much fun unless you’re sitting by the pool.

Luckily, I’ve got a friend with a pool and so I went to visit her while I was there. Most people think: summer, hot, heat, need a white wine or a rosé to drink. Normally, I would concur but although Argentina does produce some very good white wines, their best efforts all go into the reds.

So what do you do? Buy a young red and chill it down, that’s what you do. People know that red wine should be served at room temperature. What they don’t realize is that the recommendation for room temperature comes from French cellars, where room temperature often refers to the cave which is usually around 15°C. 15°C is the average temp in winter in Buenos Aireas, not summer. When I checked the thermometer in the room I was in, the room temp was 24°C WITH the air conditioning on. So, into the fridge the wine went.

We were about to partake of the Santa Julia 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon. A young wine, harvest takes place in March of 201o and you can usually find the latest vintage by Nov/Dec of the same year. Santa Julia is the second line of the Familia Zuccardi winery. A well respected winery in Mendoza, they’ve been producing wine since the 1950s. Mendoza is known for its Malbecs but after speaking to many Argentine producers and sommeliers, it seems that Argentines themselves prefer Cabernet to Malbec. Malbec is seen as something to export, not drink with lunch or dinner.

With that in mind, I picked up the Cabernet to see how it compares. After about 20 minutes in the fridge, it had cooled down to an acceptable temperature: not cold but nicely chilled. I opened it, poured and tasted. In all honesty, I think the Argentines are right; I really loved the fresh fruitiness of the Cabernet along with pitch perfect acidity and tannins that were a bit more aggressive than your average Malbec.

Malbec is like smooth jazz whereas Cabernet is acid jazz – it’s got a groove going on. I still like Malbec but I might be seeking out more Argentine Cabernet in the near future.

Familia Zuccardi wines are available from various stockist in the UK.


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Meet the Author:
Denise Medrano
I'm an American ex-pat who is fascinated by wine. Previous to my arrival in London, I had done a sommelier course in Buenos Aires, Argentina so I knew I wanted to be in the wine trade but where to start? I started where so many people in the UK wine trade start, Oddbins. I was fortunate in that Oddbins back then had a great wine education partnership with the Wine and Spirit Educational Trust and I was able take the WSET courses. I currently have the WSET Advanced Certificate as well as holding a UK personal alcohol license. Another advantage to working at Oddbins was that I had access to all the wine trade shows. Imagine, being able to go and try as many wines as you could in one day! Whew! I have to admit, I didn't do much spitting back then and the next day, I was wishing I had at least taken better notes. I started looking around on the web for blogs that covered the London wine scene and found there were none. Well, none that appealed to me. None that were a mix of trade and consumer views and opinions. And none that really talked about what a great centre of wine this fabulous city of London is. So I rolled up my sleeves, bought a domain name and the rest, as they say, is The Winesleuth history. The Winesleuth Website - Follow The Winesleuth on Twitter