During Paul's recent month-long stay south of the border, he asked me what he could bring back. Naturally I asked for a bottle of Mexican wine, and he delivered. We recently popped this open along with an appropriate meal of Cuban mojo-marinated flank steak, thoroughly seared, sliced, and served on tortillas with roasted red peppers.
The NV Hacienda Los Azteca Pretexto is a blend of the 2005 and 2006 harvests and comes from Querétaro in central Mexico, just north of Mexico City. $37, 13% abv. It is a blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc, 15% Syrah, 10% Merlot, 10% Malbec, and 5% Tempranillo--not unlike a lot of red blends coming out of California these days.
Definitely let this one breathe for about an hour. There's nothing wrong with it straight out of the bottle, but it really becomes sublime with a little air. There's an initial nose of blackberry jam that yields to reveal green bell pepper, fresh hay, and a touch of chocolate. Very mild and smooth with restrained blackberry flavors, and an elegant finish. This is only the second Mexican wine I've tried, but I am once again amazed. It is made much more in the spirit of Spain or southern France rather than, say, the wines of California, Chile, or Argentina. I can't speak to the Mexican wine industry as a whole but I would love to go around the US slipping these into blind tastings.
Interested in a more local perspective on this particular wine? You can read a review en español by a Mexican wine blogger, Rafa Ibarra.