Dark reddish/purple color. Intense aroma of black raspberries. This medium-bodied, very lively wine has loads of ripe red plum and black raspberry flavors with a slightly spicy character and a long, juicy finish.
Certainly enjoyable in its youth, but will age beautifully. A fun wine to try with a wide range of red wine-friendly foods.
"The 2006 Syrah-Bonarda contains 50% of each component. It was also aged for nine months in French and American oak and bottled without fining or filtration. Purple-colored, it delivers an alluring nose of baking spice, blueberry, plum, and black raspberry. On the palate it is medium-bodied with loads of spicy dark fruit, a forward personality, good balance, and a pure finish. It too may be enjoyed over the next 3-4 years." -Wine Advocate
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.
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Now fifth in the world for wine production, Argentina is catching up in the quality wine sector. A long time wine producer, Argentina used to make wine in order to drink it, not export it. And so the wines produced were quaffable and rustic and made for the local's everyday dinner. Yet it's hard not to get caught up in the wine market of the world and some winemakers decided it was time for Argentina to show their stuff. Better winemaking technology was brought in, new winemaking techniques were learned and good viticulture practices flourished. The result? World-class wines with unique style and variety.
Unlike 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.
Young, organically farmed Carmenère at Chile's De Martino estate vineyard
Chile & Argentina are the regions producing the most wine coming out of the continent. The wines from this area are good value with a distinctive taste. They create new world wines with old world character.
Charbono is one of my favorite varietals, but nearly impossible to find these days. I was delighted to see this wine, a blend of charbono (under one of its many pseudonyms), hoping it would taste better than i expected, given that i didn't think charbono and syrah would necessarily complement each other. Sadly, my suspicions were confirmed. The wine was simply nondescript. It wasn't bad, it wasn't good, it wasn't much of anything. And worse, we drank it with some indian food (curried potatoes and saag paneer), which brought out strong menthol and fake-grape in the finish as the wine had some time to breathe. Maybe it would shine paired with some other food, but there's enough other wine in the world that i won't bother with this one again.
Most 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.