Tilia Estate Chardonnay, Mendoza 2020

Medium gold color; yellow apple, white peach, tropical fruit on the nose; peach, yellow apple, pineapple, crème brûlée, bread on the palate.

Tilia Estate Chardonnay, Mendoza 2020

Dry; excellent acidity (3.3 pH). Light, creamy body. Nicely balanced acidity and minerality, especially for an entry-level effort. The fruit is pleasantly demure, delicately tasty. Simple, straightforward, clean expression of chardonnay. Three months in French oak give it some oak notes, but this is by no means an oak monster effort. Buttery notes from malolactic fermentation. 13.5% ABV

Tilia emphasizes sustainability in its winemaking. It was the first Argentine wine to carry the “Bodegas de Argentina Certified Sustainable” seal on its label. The website notes: “People enrich the land and we enrich our people. We support our community with an array of programs to ensure that we all thrive as one.”

Their program includes biodiversity, traditional farming practices including ungrafted vineyards, and over-arching respect for nature. The Tilia website has much more, including meditation sounds from its vineyards on the landing page (turn on the sound) and an extensive guide to its sustainability protocol.

Tilia tree

The winery name comes from a tree. The website explains: “The Tilia or Tilo tree, our wine label’s namesake, although not a native species, adapts well to Mendoza because it tolerates the region’s drought and mountain cold. The leaves are made into a calming tea which is traditionally drunk after lunch or dinner, to facilitate an afternoon siesta or bedtime.”

Guillermina Van Houten is Tilia’s vineyard sustainability specialist. The website notes: “Guillermina 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.”

Guillermina Van Houten-Tilia

Gonzalo Llensa is the winemaker. The website notes: “Gonzalo 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 7 blocks to his family home for a day-long ‘asado’ and dreams of one day taking over the grill from his father.” [“asado” is Spanish for “roast.”]

Tilia winemaker Gonzalo Llensa

Tilia Estate Chardonnay, Mendoza 2020 is pure, no frills chardonnay play. If you want an uncomplicated, affordable chard with good acidity and no “whoops, where are we going with this” issues, give this your pour. Basic, classic fruit-oak-malo chardonnay effort that stays in the traditional lanes, avoids immoderation. Pair with chicken dishes of all sorts; pasta with cream sauces; grilled salmon, cod; pastas and risottos; vegetarian fare. Cheese—semi-soft, triple-cream cheeses; nutty cheeses; cheddar; washed-rind cheese. $9-11

Tilia Wines website