Ernesto Catena’s biodynamic 2014 Tikal Natural from organic grapes is a masterful blend of Malbec (60%) and Syrah (40%). Tikal’s 2014 Natural from a vineyard in Mendoza’s renowned Vista Flores region adds further evidence to Argentina’s ability to craft world-class red wines that do not require bank loans to enjoy. A more natural, plush, and thoroughly satisfying red wine will be hard to find as the 2014 Tikal Natural captures the essence of biodynamic farming. It offers a stunning pomegranate color, fresh cherry and wild raspberry aromas, as well as a hedonistic array of fruit, spice, mocha and vanilla flavors to tantalize the palate. Bold-flavored, smooth and immensely satisfying, it may be difficult to drink other red wines after tasting the 2014 Tikal Natural. For optimal enjoyment, we suggest 20-30 minutes of aeration before consuming the joyful, pure 2014 Tikal Natural at cool room temperature (60°-64° F).
A lush, flavorful wine such as the 2014 Tikal Natural requires nothing more than a clean wine glass to be enjoyed. Few young red wines offer as much pleasure and drinkability without food as Tikal’s 2014 Natural. Yet, the 2014 Tikal Natural makes a splendid companion to grilled meats, vegetables, burgers, sliders, creamy pastas, and a host of bean and lentil dishes, so why not enjoy double the pleasure? In Argentina, beef reigns supreme as the accompaniment of choice to the country’s red wines and Tikal’s Natural is no exception. Lean cuts of beef such as filet mignon and sirloin get our nods with the Tikal Natural. Add sautéed Portabella mushrooms to a superbly grilled steak and a more pleasing combination would be hard to find. Osso Bucco and Braised Short Ribs also earn high praise in the company of Tikal’s 2014 Natural. Pork tenderloin rubbed with garlic, olive oil, rosemary and thyme receives high marks as well. A thick lentil soup made with carrots and spicy ground sausage makes for another winning combination, but then nearly any food that one would pair with Malbec or Syrah will shine and give cause for rejoicing in the company of the 2014 Tikal Natural. Buen Provecho!
Tikal is the passion of Ernesto Catena, the eldest son of Nicolás Catena of Catena Zapata. Catena reigns as Argentina’s most revered name in wine, as Nicolás, Ernesto, and Ernesto’s sister Laura fashion many of Argentina’s finest wines. Considered experts with Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Bonarda, they craft wines of both power and finesse, and leave nothing to chance.
Ernesto grew up among the vineyards of Argentina’s mighty Mendoza, traveled the world, and lived in New York, Buenos Aires, London, Milan and elsewhere before returning to his beloved Mendoza with its majestic mountains and jubilant people. Tikal reflects Ernesto’s sensibilities and his desire for all that gives pleasure in life. As a skilled horseman, software developer, fashion designer, and book editor, he delights in offering wines that deliver the ultimate in pleasure. To say that Tikal wines are hedonism in a glass would not be an overstatement, as they all provide enormous pleasure and evoke a true sense of joy. With talented winemaker Luis Reginato, Tikal fashions five exceptional red wines: Natural (this month’s feature and a biodynamic blend of organic Malbec and organic Syrah) Patriota (Patriot), Corazon (Heart), Amorio (Love), and Júbilo (Rejoice). Tikal wines consistently receive 90+ points from the world’s most respected wine critics and publications.
Malbec is one of the original red wine grapes of Bordeaux, France (where it is called Cot or Pressac). While Malbec plays a purely supporting role today in Bordeaux, adding color and body to the region’s Merlot and Cabernet blends, it remains one of the six legal grape varieties permitted in red Bordeaux (along with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Carmenère). However, south of Bordeaux in the region of Cahors, Malbec still reigns supreme as the chief grape of what historically has been called the "black wine” of Cahors. Despite its deep French roots, Argentina has come to fore as the contemporary champion of Malbec, where it’s the most important grape variety, both in terms of quality and quantity. The best Argentinean Malbecs and Malbec blends offer considerable flavor and body at a relatively young age, yet they remain age worthy wines capable of true distinction.
Syrah is one of the planet’s finest and most important red grape varieties. It has been grown for centuries in the Rhône Valley of France, where it is responsible entirely or in part for many of the greatest red wines of France, including Hermitage, Côte-Rôtie, and Châteauneuf-du-Pape specifically. The exact origin of the naturally full-flavored Syrah varietal remains somewhat of a mystery. However, most historians finally agree that Syrah was brought to Europe from the Middle East, but when and by whom remains a source of debate. In spite of the mystery surrounding Syrah, two points that everyone seems to agree upon is that Syrah rivals Cabernet Sauvignon in stature and Syrah has successfully adapted itself to other locales outside of France, with Argentina, Australia, California, Chile and South Africa all capable of fashioning distinctive world-class Syrah and Syrah blends.
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