Santa Julia? - Printable Version

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- AlcoholReviews - 09-03-2001 03:00 PM

As for bargains, has anyone tried Santa Julia of Argentina? Their Torrontes was given good mention by Goldberg of the NYTimes and I've enjoyed their Malbec Reserva and Cabernets the past couple of years. Usually you can find them for $7-$10!

Hunold's Pinot Blanc is also terrific. one wine seller I know says he keeps alot of it at home and it serves as his "house white".


Kevin R. Kosar, Editor

- winoweenie - 09-03-2001 05:40 PM

Hi Kevin and welcome to the board. Our monickers are normally not advertising or associated with some type of agendas. We have a thread if you're promoting these wines as a commercial venture. If not, a little more descritive evaluation is warranted. WW

- AlcoholReviews - 09-04-2001 09:08 AM

Doh- sorry. No, I have no financial stake in these wines nor, so far as I know, are they purchasable through's retail affiliate. I was just aiming to share some happy finds and see if others had thoughts on these.

Now- details:

As for the Malbec Riserva ('99), my experience with Malbecs has been generally disappointing. they are so often just hard as nails. This one, though, had a stiff spine but leaked black currants and vanilla.

The Torrontes ('00) noses like a Gewurztraminer, begins a little sweet then turns sour with a late-harvest melon and green apple notes.

Finally, the Bruno Hunold tasted of lemon, honey, pear and closing with soft earth. It was soft but had gravitas. And it was all of $7.


Kevin R. Kosar

- Drew - 09-04-2001 09:27 AM

Interesting site and I have a question. Below is your rating system for wines.

*Horrid- Won't drink unless threatened with violence.
**Tolerable- Will drink if it is free.
***Good- Will drink and even pay for.
****Very Good- Will seek out for purchase.
*****Superb- Will walk miles to acquire.

Yet you rate wines at***3/4, ****1/2 and so on. Why would you take a simple 5 step rating system and then divide it into a complex 20 step rating system? What's the difference between a ***1/2 and a ***3/4 rated wine? It just seems that to attract average wine drinkers you need to K.I.S.S.
BTW, that wasn't directed at you...just a saying. Thanks.


- AlcoholReviews - 09-04-2001 11:49 AM


Thanks for the message. A point well taken.

However, I gues the notion is this: some wines are just good enough that we think them worth buying. Those we rate 3 stars. Then there are those that are clearly worth buying but they aren't so good that our writers would seek them out. For example, if I was en route to a party and needed to pick up a bottle of wine, I might stop in a wine store and on spying a 3 star bottle and no other wines that I recognized, I might buy it. But I wouldn't make the point of going out shopping for a 3 star bottle, yet I would for a 4 star bottle.

Now, as for the 3.5 star bottle vs. the 3.75 star bottle: no doubt they are close in quality. And our tasters often quibble over whether another 1/4 star is justified or not. Fairness and accuracy would seem to demand that if we taste one merlot and then another and the second is slightly better that we give it a slightly higher rating (our readers probably want this too!)

But at the same time this is no science. And I think the 100 point scale can be problematic in this sense. There one can scratch one's head over the differences between an 83 and an 85 rating. On the 100 point scale the acceptable range is between 80 and 100- that's 21 possible scores a wine might get. For us there are but 9 ratings a decent wine might get: 3, 3.25, 3.5, ... 5. simpler, but by no means perfect.



- Thomas - 09-04-2001 03:27 PM

Don't get me started on ratings--the whole concept is suspect, I don't care how many points or stars.

Since I sell wine for a living, I'd rather my customers trust my judgment not Parker's or the Wine Expectorant or I know what my individual customers like, I know what I like, and I know a lot about the subject. I like to think that my recommendations come with background and meaning, not to mention with food and price in mind.

In fact, some would say I am a four-star retailer--but what do they know?

- wondersofwine - 09-04-2001 04:41 PM

Apparently they know enough to come to your store for advice!

- winoweenie - 09-04-2001 05:39 PM

Foodie-poo seems like ebber-one in the whole-wide has a different rating system, yet they all end up being morphed into some version of the 100 pernt scale. Tilson started out with a 20 pointer, then added 1/2s etc. I still think Curmy had the best idea. A100 pointer for quality/Price. Takes all the guesswork out even for dummies like moi'. WW

- Drew - 09-04-2001 06:38 PM

It just seems to me that the general public is confused enough. A simple rating system eg.
* Bad
** Fair
*** Good
**** Very Good
***** Outstanding

should be fine and easily applied. I hate the 100 point system alone but do like Curmy's system with QPR attached.


- Bucko - 09-04-2001 08:27 PM

Ratings suck, but the public demands it. We are so numerically oriented from grades in school to SAT tests to admissions tests to yada, yada, yada......

- winoweenie - 09-05-2001 06:49 AM

Drew, your system is what Connoisuers Guide uses. They call them lil' suckers Puffs. 'Aint that cute? WW

- Thomas - 09-05-2001 03:42 PM

Bucko, my customers do not demand ratings. They demand a good wine at a fair price. We refuse to post ratings anywhere in our shop. And we do not rate wines for their price/value--we leave that to the consumer. We simply listen to the consumers need, make recommendations and make alternative recommendations and then wait for the results.

The thing to remember is that those who produce ratings aren't selling wine; they are selling magazines on and off line.

- AlcoholReviews - 09-06-2001 09:03 AM

Now, now, Foodie, let's try to be fair here. Yes, we are a business, but then again, wine stores are businesses too.

To communicate to our readers in quick, clear fashion, we, like others, use ratings. Like you, we're trying to give folks recommendations. I don't see why you find that deplorable and ban numerical ratings from your store. Indeed, any time you make a rcommendation, you are implictly rating a wine vs. others. 'You like tannic, well then you shoudl try this wine...'

I suppose if we substituted words for nuemrical ratings (e.g., 3 stars would be replaced with "good", 4 stars would be replaced with "excellent", etc.) that we'd suddenly be in the right by your criteria?

Let's not quibble over nomeclature. The public wants advice. They want to know which bottles are likely to be to their liking. We're both trying to do this, no?

Yes, you get to know your customers face to face. You know that Jones likes his merlots bursting with fruit, that Smith likes her chardonnay with little oak, and so forth. And that's grand- such personalization is terrific for wine buyers. Your regulars can count on you to understand their preferences and suggest accoridngly. But what of those wine buyers who don't have an established relationship with a wine store owner, who don't buy wine very often, or who live near some mega store which is run by clerks who don't know anything about the wines they carry? To whom are these custoemrsy to turn? We, of course, and others, can give them a little help.