Susana Balbo Signature Malbec 2009
Malbec from Argentina, South America
Beautiful deep violet color with exploding aromas of blackberry, black cherry and violets framed by hints of oak and mint. The wonderful aromas are mirrored on the palate and they are joined by ripe plum fruit and a hint of toasty vanilla, bittersweet chocolate, and a hint of mint on the finish. This is a very ripe and rich style of wine, but the Cabernet adds structure, reigning in the fruit and focusing it into a long finish. A wine that fruly struggles between its fun and serious side.
Pairs well with a wide range of foods from beef and pork to game or even meat-based pastas. This is what Malbec is all about.
The Wine Advocate - "The 2009 Malbec included 5% Cabernet Sauvignon in its makeup and received the same elevage as the Cabernet. Attractive aromas of pain grille, smoke, mocha, spice box, and black cherry set the stage for a plush, full-bodied, succulent wine with intense flavors and a seamless finish. It is likely to evolve for 1-2 years but can be approached now."
Wine Enthusiast - "Heavily charred and roasted throughout, with a blackened nose. The palate is broad and chewy, with thick tannins and roasted, ripe flavors of blackberry, licorice and bitter chocolate. Remains severely toasted all the way to the final drop; aged in 80% new French oak (apparently fully toasted oak)."
Susana Balbo Winery
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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
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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.