Crios de Susana Balbo Malbec 2009
Malbec from Argentina, South America
The wine has a beautiful reddish/purple color as most good Malbecs do. The aromas are a mix of freshly crushed black cherries and toasty/smoky oak—just enough to frame the exuberant fruit. On the palate, the flavors of cherries and spice are obvious, and the jammy fruit quality just keeps coming on strong, with hints of spice and sandalwood lurking in the background. This is a wine that you'll want to buy by the case because it can be consumed at almost any occasion, whether at a fancy dinner party, or just curled up on the couch in front of a movie. Fun and delicious—what more can you ask for?!
The Wine Advocate - "Blended with 10% Bonarda; incense, spice box, underbrush, black cherry, savory, ripe, long."
Crios de Susana Balbo Winery
After 22 years of winemaking, Susana Balbo has a strong sense of what she wants from her wines. From every harvest, she creates the grandest possible wines under her Susana Balbo label. To achieve this, she makes a rigorous selection of the finest barrels prior to making her final blends, dividing them into the parents (reserve level wines) and offspring or "crios."
Wines under her Crios label display ripe fruit flavors, excellent balance and concentration, and are meant to be enjoyed in their vibrant youth. These wines are produced under Dominio del Plata's code of sustainable agriculture.
Like Susana's own crios (a boy and a girl), they are extremely lovable and fun to be around. The label features a series of three connected and overlapping hands, an image inspired by a Mayan artifact. The artifact illustrates the interconnectedness of every generation, and the irony that we will be both the parent and the offspring at different times in our lives. View all Crios de Susana Balbo Wines
About ArgentinaView a map of Argentina wineries (ahr-jen-TEE-nah)
Notable FactsUnlike its Chilean neighbor, Argentina's vineyards are spread out around the country. The best known region is Mendoza, almost parallel to Santiago to the west. Mendoza contains the sub-regions of Maipu (pronounced MY-pu) and San Rafael. Grape-wise, the most important white is Chardonnay, making wine similar to California's style on the variety. Another fun white grape to try is Torrontes. Almost only grown in Argentina, Torrontes makes wines that are crisp, aromatic and easy-drinking. Some of the best versions of this wine come from the northern region of Salta, with very high altitude vineyards. As for the reds, Cabernet Sauvignon is the main grape for many wines leaving the country, but Malbec, the grape Argentinians like to call their own, makes very distinctive wines that are structured, dense and velvety. Many more varieties happily grow in the country, but for export, and consistent quality, these are the primary grapes.
About South AmericaRelated Links:
Young, organically farmed Carmenère at Chile's De Martino estate vineyard
Customer ReviewsSign In to Add Your Review3.5 }div>3.3 out of 5 stars
- 5 Stars: 2
- 4 Stars: 8
- 3 Stars: 2
- 2 Stars: 2
- 1 Stars: 2
17 ratings, 10 with reviews46/19/2012A nice full bodied Malbec. We really enjoyed this.43/12/2012Anthony Busquets - Yorktown, VA11/29/2012412/29/2011willygreen - Traverse City, MI410/29/2011Bob Corcoran - Medford, MA410/7/2011Bright with nice black fruit and spices, a bit more lively then I'm used to with Malbec (I tend to look for 08 - found a stash of 08 Maipe for $10 localy I've been enjoyong ) - but very enjoyable - nice price for a good wine!49/29/2011Always a best value in malbec. Love this female winemaker.29/10/2011noRed w/Attitude - Miami, FL17/1/201156/9/2011This wine consistently overdelivers for $15. Being in the industry, I've seen a lot of flash-in-the-pan Malbecs coming out in this price range these days, but for at least the past few vintages, Crios has delivered big fruit, good spice, not too much oak, and enough acid to keep it all in balance. Very reliable.111ImNumber1 - Cambridge, MA24/8/2011
Overrated indeed! This wine is boring on the palate. You don't feel it on the midpalate. It is bitter. On the nose you get good things though, spics, black fruits, blackberry. The only reason I gave it 2 stars is because of the sniff and the color. It is purple like good Malbec, but that doesn't live up to the way it tastes!44/26/2011richard hirsch - Denver, CO34/3/2011Not a bad Malbec but not as good as others in the same price range.eCo - Spring, TX31/21/2011I was really looking forward to tasting this wine. A big, bold, earthy malbec would be just the thing for the prime strip I prepared this evening. I could tell, tho, as I poured the first glass this wasn't going to be the wine I had hoped for. The color was "reddish/purple", but not dense and opaque as a rich wine would be. On tasting, it was perfectly pleasant in every way, except that it was weak and insipid. There was no way this wine was going to measure up to the prime strip I was preparing. I ended up pouring half the bottle into the port wine and mushroom reduction sauce I was preparing on the stove. It was quite nice once it became concentrated to the point it should have been in the first place (and beyond). But I can't add any stars for that.41/19/2011I know some people will take issue with calling this Crios a second label. It’s definitely a grey area and probably does fall more into the category of an entire second line of wines. But since I get to make the rules, we’re going to call it a second label. And when you account for the fact that Kori and I drank ridiculous amounts of Susana Balbo’s wine when we lived in Argentina, there is no way that I’m going to leave her off my list. The Malbec grape finds its origins in Bordeaux as a minor blending grape. On its own, it can be a beast and this young Crios is no exception. If you are looking for a subtle, nuanced wine, then you need to look elsewhere. In fact, don’t look for anything subtle in Argentina, wine or otherwise. This wine is deep purple in color with fresh cherries, plums and other lush fruit abounding. There is also ample oak along with some vanilla and spice undertones. The wine is definitely out of balance, but I say that with all due respect to my friends in Argentina. Sometimes it’s a good thing to lose control, and this Crios is a prime example. Food Pairing Suggestions: This is an open and shut case. The Crios Malbec needs a thick-cut grilled T-bone steak and a loaded baked potato. I would hesitate to serve this wine with a softer, more marbled piece of meat like a rib eye. This is an in-your-face wine, so it deserves an in-your-face meal. BBQ brisket would also do the trick. Just remember well seasoned meat coupled with the grill is the key.51/5/2011Beautiful wine....smooth with fruity overtones, but well-balanced. A great price for such a nice wine.Related Products
- Earthy & Spicy
- Pair With
- Beef > Hot Spices
Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.
- 5 Stars: