Susana Balbo Signature Malbec 2011
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 ripe and rich style of wine, reigning in the fruit and focusing it into a long finish. A wine that truly struggles between its fun and serious side.
Pairs well with a wide range of foods from beef and pork to game birds or even meat-based pastas. This is what Malbec pleasure is all about.
Decanter - "Winemaker Susana Balbo selects only the top barrels for her Signature series, and in this case the result is a great wine characterised by lovely fruit purity and intensity. With 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, it’s rich yet fresh, with beautiful black fruit and floral aromas. Would be perfect with steak. "
International Wine Cellar - "Full, saturated red-ruby. Very pure, soil-inflected aromas and flavors of blackberry liqueur, mocha, truffle and smoky minerality, complicated by hints of milk chocolate and crushed herbs. Juicy and spicy but a bit youthfully imploded, with enticing sweetness leavened by brisk acidity. Most impressive today on the long, energetic, firmly tannic finish, which leaves behind notes of blackberry, black cherry, espresso and dark chocolate. Give this at least two or three years in the cellar before pulling the cork. Susana Balbo is now toasting her barrels with convection, which she says gives sweetness to the wines without an overbearing oakiness."
Wine Spectator - "A dense, juicy red, displaying rich plum, crushed wild berry, spice, game and light earth notes that follow through on the long, minerally finish. Smart Buy."
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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.
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