2011 Tikal Patriota Mendoza
Expert Rating
RP 92 points
(Read the full review below)
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Tikal Vineyards and Ernesto Catena The Advocate's 92 Points … but still proletariat at heart

It's on days like these that we realize how far WineAccess has come in so little time. In 2007, we hatched the plan, and began cellar hopping across the globe, spreading the internet gospel. As you well imagine by now, we were brash -- even a bit naïve -- suggesting that we could write compelling stories about inspired bottles, thus providing an online alternative to the inefficiencies of traditional distribution. For the most part, we were graciously received -- then politely sent on our way. Still, little by little, we caught some breaks, and a few big names jumped on board. By 2009, WineAccess was turning heads from the Silverado Trail to Chateauneuf-du-Pape.

In retrospect, while excited about our prospects, our business plan timeline seemed aggressive. Sure, solid wines crafted by distressed wineries would come our way, and could be offered at substantial discounts. But what of the most sought-after labels on the market, The Wine Advocate's and Wine Spectator's top-rated bargains and collectibles? When demand far exceeded supply, how was our little website going to compete with the Big Boys?

Over the last two years, WineAccess has come of age, outpacing projections on a 2007 business plan that, at the time, seemed more fiction than fact. First, Bill Harlan jumped on board. Then came Luc Morlet, David Ramey, O'Shaughnessy. Finally, Phelps "Insignia." The Perrin family decided to take a shot at WineAccess -- on what we've been told was the single largest sales day in the U.S. history for Beaucastel. Todd Anderson's 98-point Cabernet enjoyed a (too) short morning in the internet sun, as did 96pt Brunelli from Poggio Antico and Emilio Costanti.

But even as we felt pretty good about the top-rated rare wine salvos, we remained proletariat at heart. Our proudest mornings came on days when we got our hands in the bargain cookie jar, prying away distributor allocations of some of the most stunning bargains on the world market -- all offered to WineAccess members at the lowest prices in America.

It would take four years to bring Argentina's greatest winemaking name into the WineAccess fold, then another six months to land the 2010 Tikal "Patriota." It would be a bargain coup of historic significance.

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate had just named "Patriota" to the short list of Argentina's greatest values. The 2010 -- retailing around the country at $23 -- would be the fifth consecutive 90+ point release, garnering a rave review and 91 points. Our 1800 bottle allocation of the 2010 "Patriota" would disappear on a too-short Thursday afternoon at $16.99, earning 41 perfect 5-star ratings from buyers.

That was good. But today is better. The 800 case allocation of the Catenas' brilliant 2011 "Patriota" just made it to Oakland, California. In October, The Advocate upped the ante, rating this deep purple, lavishly concentrated, high-elevation Malbec blend a whopping 92 points -- sending retailers and distributors scrambling. Most would be too late. This time, WineAccess came first!

Deep purple to the edge, with luscious aromas of boysenberry and crushed red fruits, the attack is packed with black fruit preserves, dense and juicy, yet -- as always -- marvelously elegant. The Wine Advocate called it "Wonderful." Couldn't have said it better ourselves.

Tasting Notes

2011 Tikal Patriota Mendoza
"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, outgoing 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."
92 points -- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

*Important Shipping Information
    • This is a Pre-Arrival Offer: Weather permitting, wine will begin shipping upon arrival, in March, 2013.

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