Tilia Merlot 2010
Sustainability pioneers, Tilia Wines were the first to carry the certified sustainable seal from Bodegas de Argentina on the label.
Today, Tilia is the first wine label to illustrate the path toward sustainability in Argentina. Through powerful symbols, the label highlights Tilia’s core values and represents programs implemented by Tilia to practice both environmental and social sustainability. People enrich the land at Tilia, and Tilia enriches the land of its people. With a focus on social sustainability, Tilia supports it community with an array of programs to ensure that everyone thrives as one.
Tilia’s roots, like its traditions, are robust and deep. They descend far into the soil to access glacial water from the ancestral irrigation canals. The winery thrives on biodiversity, preserving and nurturing plants, insects, and animals so that its vineyards can adapt to a changing environment. There is a natural resilience at Tilia, and a reverence for traditional farming practices that has shielded their ungrafted vineyards from interventions, sustaining the land for generations to come. Everyone is stronger together at Tilia, and the wines reflect its values: honor tradition, support the community, and respect nature.
Gonzalo Llensa, Tilia’s Winemaker, believes his love for the vineyard started when he grew tomatoes, peppers, and squash in his grandmother’s orchard. He is constantly looking to repurpose resources, save water, and turn off lights – a trait he got from his father, a professional electrician. Every weekend, Gonzalo walks seven blocks to his family home for a day-long asado and dreams of one day taking over the grill from his father.
Guillermina Van Houten, Tilia Sustainability Vineyard Specialist, has always been fascinated by nature and understanding how it works. Born a scientist at heart, her focus is to care for the grape and its environment as a whole to create the best wines. Her passion for sustainability was awakened while studying in France. What inspires Guillermina about winemaking is the fact that a piece of Mendoza’s land is able to travel to the farthest parts of the world in a bottle of wine.
With vineyards tretching along the eastern side of the Andes Mountains from Patagonia in the south to Salta in the north, Argentina is one of the world’s largest and most dynamic wine producing countries—and most important in South America.
Since the late 20th century vineyard investments, improved winery technology and a commitment to innovation have all contributed to the country’s burgeoning image as a producer of great wines at all price points. The climate here is diverse but generally continental and agreeable, with hot, dry summers and cold snowy winters—a positive, as snow melt from the Andes Mountains is used heavily to irrigate vineyards. Grapes very rarely have any difficulty achieving full ripeness.
Argentina’s famous Mendoza region, responsible for more than 70% of Argentina’s wine production, is further divided into several sub-regions, with Luján de Cuyo and the Uco Valley most noteworthy. Red wines dominate here, especially Malbec, the country’s star variety, while Chardonnay is the most successful white.
The province of San Juan is best known for blends of Bonarda and Syrah. Torrontés is a specialty of the La Rioja and Salta regions, the latter of which is also responsible for excellent Malbecs grown at very high elevation.
With generous fruit and supple tannins, Merlot is made in a range of styles from everyday-drinking to world-renowned and age-worthy. Merlot is the dominant variety in the wines from Bordeaux’s Right Bank regions of St. Emilion and Pomerol, where it is often blended with Cabernet Franc to spectacular result. Merlot also frequently shines on its own, particularly in California’s Napa Valley. Somm Secret—As much as Miles derided the variety in the 2004 film, Sideways, his prized 1961 Château Cheval Blanc is actually a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.