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The name Zuccardi should perhaps bring a Pavlovian response as we have carried and featured their beautiful wines from Argentina for many years now. Whether they're on our end-of-year "Best Of" list or featured in an email or, as in this case, chosen as our 'wine of the month', year-in and year-out this family has delivered the goods-- and by that, of course, we mean their track record for making world class wines at fair prices (in a variety of price niveaus) has consistently exceeded what we look for in wines we carry here at Hi-Time. They bring it-- and we are fortunate to taste and share the love.

Since the 1950s, the Zuccardi family has pioneered winegrowing in Mendoza, building state-of-the-art facilities and establishing a vineyard portfolio and business model rivaled by few in the region. Julia Zuccardi, a granddaughter of the family patriarch, is the namesake and director of the estate. She's hired Ruben Ruffo, a 25-year veteran winemaker to craft the wines, while Edgardo Consoli manages the sprawling vineyards like they belong to a Bordeaux classified growth. Bodega Santa Julia was created in honor of Julia Zuccardi, part of the third generation of leaders from the family. The Santa Julia winery represents the family's commitment to producing the highest quality wines through sustainable practices that protect the environment and uplift the local community. They support the land, the farmers and the overall health of the local community in a myriad of ways. And the wines they make? Stunning.

Stunning? Yes! This Mountain Blend of Malbec and Cabernet Franc (70% Malbec, 30% Franc) just works on so many levels. The nose is loaded with red and dark fruits, a mix of raspberry and blackberry in a fragrant compote, as notes of balsa wood, incense, ground nutmeg and midnight florals add depth and dimension. The forward fruits continue on the palate as cherries and raspberries romp across the tongue, bolstered by hints of smoked meat, ironstone minerality and baking spices. The acidity is balanced and moderate tannins slowly grow as the long finish adds purple fruits that meld with the red and black. Remember the Highlander movies, where there can 'only be one'? This is the one for this month, and the trail of bottles in its wake (it bested at least 15 other contenders!) is impressive.

70% Malbec, 30% Cabernet Franc
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