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Wine Advocate Score: 95 Open Wine Advocate Score: rating modal
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We were enthralled after tasting the 2018 Tinto de Tiza "Eggo" Malbec from the Zorzal winery in Argentina, and we think anyone who enjoys unique expressions of place and grape, old world or new, will enjoy this as well! These days it's no longer enough to shop for an "Argentinian Malbec," as there are a range of styles that appeal to different palates. Zorzal's Tinto de Tiza arguably makes the most of the Gualtallary region's uniquely situated vineyards in the higher-altitude foothills of the Andes mountains to create distinctive wines of intense flavor and concentration, with fresh, tangy fruit, stony minerality, and mid-weight body for ultimate drinkability.

The Michelini brothers, who founded the Zorzal winery in 2007, set out from the start to let the character of this place and the vines do more of the talking. They practice organic farming in the vineyards because healthy soils make better wines of place. They keep some whole clusters in the ferment for a natural dash of complexity and "freshness." They don't filter the wine so as to not strip character. Perhaps most distinctive of all, their "Eggo" series makes use of en vogue closed concrete egg-shaped containers in which to ferment, "to preserve the purity, nerve, intensity, potency, life, and electricity of the wines" as they put it.

Time in concrete eggs lead to initial aromas of an enclosed space, like a wine cellar deep underground. But with time in the glass these give way to fresh crushed black plum and bright boysenberry aromas, some forest undergrowth, along with a hint of a soft floral note like lilac or lavender. There's a cool firmness to the flesh of the wine, combined with a characteristic texture like chalky, crushed stone. The mid-bodied weight on the palate reflects the fruit's profile that is ripe but not too sweet and definitely not jammy; it's tangy, and with a concentration that is enough to saturate the mouth with some intense flavors of those fresh crushed fruits peaking above that undergrowth character, an oolong tea-like undercurrent, and a slightly saline, rocky minerality. Indeed, it altogether fits with the wine's home in the dramatic, austere high altitude Andes foothill region of Gualtallary: stony, sunny, and cool. Another glass, please!

WINE ADVOCATE 95 POINTS - "My favorite of the Malbecs is the 2018 Eggo Tinto de Tiza, from a Mendoza year—mild and dry—and aged exclusively in concrete eggs, which to me is the Zorzal signature. This is elegant, nuanced and pure, with great aromatics, clean and precise and with a medium-bodied palate, with moderate ripeness and red rather than black fruit. This is superb."
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