"The 2011 Tilia Malbec, once again from Eastern Mendoza and Uco Valley raised in oak for six to nine months; has an attractive, comparatively complex bouquet of blackberry, wild hedgerow, crushed stone and black pepper. The palate is medium-bodied with tense, edgy tannins on the entry that counterpoise the tight ball of blackberry, briary and minerals with style. It builds nicely in the mouth, leading to a firm, black olive-tinged finish that lightly grips the mouth. Excellent. Drink now-2018.
Bodegas Esmeralda was founded by Don Juan Fernandez, who named the estate after his daughter. It now belongs to the Nicolas Catena family. I focused on their “Tilia” line, named after a linden tree found in Argentina. The winemaker is Aljandro Viggiani, who has worked for fifteen years at Catena. Around 90% of the grapes come from the east of Mendoza, supposedly one of the less propitious regions in Argentina, but also a locale blessed with volcanic soils that can give rise to complex wines. The vines here are planted in a high-density pergola system (2m x 1m). All these wines are (in my opinion, wisely) bottled under Screwcap. I must say, of all the ranges that I tasted in Argentina, none could match the quality to price ratio of Tilia, which all retail for an astoundingly low price. As such, I cannot recommend them highly enough."