2011 Tikal "Patriota" Mendoza
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2011 Tikal Patriota is a blend of 60% Malbec and 40% Bonarda from Vista Flores and La Vendimia from 14-year-old vines. It is raised in French and American oak for 12 months (30% new.) It has a confident, out-going bouquet of raspberries and wild strawberry complemented by hints of marmalade and quince. The palate is medium-bodied with luscious black fruit infused with minerals and a touch of graphite. It is supremely harmonious and seductive with filigree tannins on the refined finish. Wonderful. Drink now-2017. Unfortunately, Ernesto himself, Nicolas Catenas's oldest son, was in London when I was visiting in Mendoza. The vineyards are located in Vistaflores in the Uco Valley, and the winemaker is Bernardo Bossi, part of Alejandro Vigil's team. I was told that they are currently planting Pinot Noir and aiming for lighter wines with less new oak. They have been experimenting with whole cluster since 2002, and found the wines to be different after five or six years in bottle.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(60% malbec and 40% bonarda): Bright saturated ruby. Dark berries, plum, mocha and chocolate on the very ripe nose and palate. Sweet, lush and seamless, but with a hint of minerality and solid acidity enabling the wine to maintain balance and freshness. A mouthfilling and very successful blend, finishing broad and long, firmly tannic but not at all dry.