Review: 2008 Tikal Patriota Bonarda/Malbec Medoza

Bottom Line: An interesting and alluring wine with a surprising combination of power and finesse.  Different than what you're likely accustomed to and worth seeking out. $20

The Rest Of The Story:  Packaged in a massive bottle that would do some serious damage were you to drop it on your foot, this 60/40 blend of Bonarda and Malbec brings out the best of both varietals while smoothing out the rough edges that often characterize each on its own.

The creation of Ernesto Catena (son of the venerable Nicolas Catena Zapata), Tikal bottles a quartet of Malbec-based reds.  This is our first intro to the line of wines, but we hope not the last.


Three reasons...

First, this one's different.  It doesn't fit into one of the neatly predefined profile boxes Argentine wines have set the stage with.  Second, it's good - damn good.  Finally, it's $20.  And it's been a long time since I've had a wine of this caliber for under $50.

A blend of Bonarda and Malbec, it has the elegant aromatics of a sophisticated, hearty Pinot Noir, but the character and depth of a meaty Syrah. Medium bodied and giving, it develops well over time and surprises. A terrific value given the high quality. Extraordinary with steak.