Friday, January 11, 2019

Argentina Wines with Familia Zuccardi

Our destination this month with our Wine Pairing Weekend friends is Argentina, definitely one of the top countries on my bucket list of places to visit one day.  Plus, it holds a special place in my heart as the only pets I've owned throughout my life are chinchillas that originate from the Andes Mountains nearby.

When I first became exposed to the world of wine many years ago, Argentina was one of the countries that offered great value.  Malbec wines were some of the first red wines that I really enjoyed.  My tastes have changed since then, but I appreciate all wines for the character that they lend to each glass.

You may be asking yourself why are we featuring Argentinian wines, but as always I believe a more well-rounded educated wine consumer is important.  Plus, I always try to find the Italian twist in many of these tastings.  If you're ever seen the movie "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" it's like the father always trying to find how every word stems from a Greek meaning; )  The Zuccardi family also have a Santa Rose vineyard that experiments with nontraditional grapes including Italian grapes aglianico and falaghina as well as many others.  Unfortunately I haven't had these wines to share with you my thoughts.

The Zuccardi family first planted its roots in the wine industry when Alberto Zuccardi planted his first vineyard in the region of Maipu, just outside of Mendoza, Argentina in 1963.  His great grandparents had transplanted themselves from Avellino, Italy in Campania into the town of Tucuman.  Little did he know his passion would grow into the wine industry.  His son, Jose Alberto Zuccardi, became General Director of the winery in 1990.  Today the third generation of the family, Sebastian Zuccardi, has advanced the winery further developing a research and development department to study the terroir that affects production of their wines and opened a new winery in the Uco Valley in 2016.  For those always seeking out organic wines they achieved their organic certification in 2004.
Familia Zuccardi and Santa Julia wines from Argentina
Even though I'm not presenting all these today I will be updating my post once I do.

2016 Zuccardi Q Chardonnay2016 Zuccardi Q Chardonnay: This wine is made from 100% chardonnay and if fermented in concrete and oak barrels with indigenous yeasts.  It aged "sur lie" meaning on the lees or the dead yeast cells that add complexity to the wine.  This wine is sourced from vineyards in Tupungato in the Uco Valley.  A brilliant straw yellow with notes of vanilla and tropical on the nose.  Even though this is a wine partially aged in oak barrels the notes of vanilla and toastiness of the wine wasn't overpowering as it can be with other barrel aged chardonnay.  A dry, medium-bodied wine showing pineapple flavors.  Rather balanced with nice crisp acidity and citrus flavors on a lengthy finish. 13.5% ABV SRP $20

Wine Pairing: I paired thsi wine with garlic butter shrimp over brown rice and mixed vegetables.  It was a perfect complement to the shrimp and even my oldest (2.5 years old) requested "more shrimp please".  Warms my soul a future foodie in the making. 
wine and food pairing with Argentina Zuccardi Chardonnay
2017 Santa Julia Mountain Blend2017 Santa Julia Mountain Blend Reserva: The Santa Julia brand is part of the Zuccardi family portfolio named after one of the family members Julia.  This wine is made of 70% malbec and 30% cabernet franc.  Aged 10 months in French oak.  Deep ruby in color and really ripe, rich berries on the nose.  Dark fruits with some spice on the palate and rather full-bodied.  Nice acid and well integrated tannins.  An enjoyable wine and especially at this price point.  13% ABV SRP $13

Wine Pairing: Yes I'm a mom of 2 little ones so some nights I do what I have to do to feed the family, but no chicken nuggets being served here.  I paired this wine with beef tenderloins, a baked smashed potato and stuffed portabello with sauteed red peppers topped with monterey cheese.  The little ones did not participate in the wine tasting part though.  They still have some years to go. ; )
wine and fod pairing with Santa Julia Malbec Cabernet Franc

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*These wines were offered for me to try as samples, but I only share those that I recommend to readers and I was not compensated for this posting.  Opinions are always my own.