Tila winery is part of a top quality producer out of Argentina, Bodega Catena Zapata. They are responsible for some seriously good juice that gets a lot of press. Catena Zapata and Catena Alta make up their top wines (I’ve had the Zapata and it rocks!). They also have several other brands (wineries) under their umbrella including, Alma Negra, Bodega Renacer, Bodega Nieto Senetiner, El Enemigo, High Note and of course Tilia. It was very intriguing doing some research on the Catena Zapata Winery.

The founder, Nicola Catena planted his first vines in Mendoza in 1902 (crazy!). The vineyards and winery stay in family control to this day, making it one of the few family owned wineries in Argentina in Argentine hands. The current third generation owners are Nicolas Catena and his daughter Laura. They own 900 planted acres of estate fruit, so this is no small operation. Their chief wine maker is Alejandro (love that name) Vigil, who took that position in 2007. He is both a wine maker and viticulturist, which means he knows something about the vines and farming as well, and I believe this is very helpful in the wine making process itself.

I also discovered that they make one of my long-time go-to wines, Renacer Punto Final Malbec. Like many wineries, they produce a value brand, and that is the Tilia line-up. They have been making wine for a long time and the 2012 Tilia Malbec is evidence of their wine making prowess. Although I find a lot of malbec that is somewhat one-dimensional, this ten-dollar gem shows a lot of character.

Aromas of mocha, vanilla, beauty bark, and boysenberries which are slightly perfumed. There is also a hint of worn leather and tobacco (a lot going on with the nose here). On the front of the palate, mocha and chocolate are married with notes of currants and boysenberries. Very smooth and almost plush with those typical malbecean (sorry, I made that word up and I think it sounds kind of cool) chalky tannins. The chocolate tones permeate front to back, and there is a hint of leather and tobacco with lingering spice on the finish. In my book, this is a lot of wine for ten bucks and if you are on the Malbec bandwagon like so many others, this is where I would go to satisfy the need. And by the way, this would be a nice compliment to the T-Day meal, pork or fowl. (B)

Distributed by Noble Wines (Seattle, WA)

Cheers! Stan The Wine Man

About Stan The Wine Man

I am a blue collar wine guy who has been in the biz for over twenty years. I work at a store in a tourist destination stop. I work hard at finding the best wine for the money. I love the challenge of learning my customer's palate so I can find the best wine for them, whether it is Petrus or white zinfandel. Cheers!
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