09 June 2010

NV Hacienda Los Azteca Pretexto

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.


Samantha Dugan said...

I always think about tasting some Mexican wines when I go to Mexico but that damned Tequila just calls to me....next time I will check them out.

Benito said...


I've been really happy with both of the Mexican wines I've had, and not just in a "this is good for Mexican wine" sense. Nice austere style, no huge fruit bombs or high alcohol.


Rafa Ibarra said...

Hi Benito. As Mexican I am very glad you enjoyed this wine. Here in Mexico we have a lot of very good wines, some of them excellent ones. In our country we have the oldest winery in all the America continent: Casa Madero (www.madero.com.mx), established in 1597. But I have to tell that since middle 80's our wines really increased their quality, so we have wineries that have obtained houndreds of medals in wine international contests.

I really hope you can try more mexican wines, and if you need some recomendations, I'll be glad to help you.

Remember, Mexico is not only a Tequila producer.

Best regards.

--Rafa Ibarra
El mundo de Rafa Ibarra

Benito said...


Thanks for your input, and I look forward to learning more about the subject from your blog. The only other Mexican wine I've had was the 2005 Barón Balch'é Reserva Especial, which I also very much enjoyed. Unfortunately none of the wines are imported into my part of the country, so I have to rely on friends who go on vacation.