Susana Balbo Brioso 2014
Pairs well with beef, pork, lamb, squab, quail and duck.
Blend: 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Malbec, 25% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Susana Balbo graduated from Don Bosco University in Mendoza in 1981 and established herself as Argentina’s first female enologist and, since then, has been considered one of Argentina’s top winemakers. Three times her industry peers elected her to the Presidency of Wines of Argentina because of her work ethic, innovative winemaking techniques and dedication to the worldwide success of Argentine wine.
After working for twenty years as a consulting winemaker, Susana founded her own brand in 2000. In 2001, she broke ground for her winery in Agrelo in the Luján de Cuyo district of Mendoza. There, she makes her Susana Balbo “Signature” line of wines, as well as wines under the Crios, Nosotros and BenMarco labels. Her winemaking approach for the wines that bear her name is to seamlessly apply her human touch and enhance the grape’s innate character.
Over several decades of winemaking in Argentina, Susana has earned a reputation for a pioneering spirit and innovation. She is known for experimenting with various barrel sizes and aging regimens, fermentation of wine in egg-shaped concrete fermenters, and wild yeast fermentations. The Wine Advocate’s Luis Gutierrez dubbed her groundbreaking barrel-fermented Torrontés one of the “10 Argentine Wines to Drink before You Die.”
By far the largest and best-known winemaking province in Argentina, Mendoza is responsible for over 70% of the country’s enological output. Set in the eastern foothills of the Andes Mountains, the climate is dry and continental, presenting relatively few challenges for viticulturists during the growing season. Mendoza, divided into several distinctive sub-regions, including Luján de Cuyo and the Uco Valley, is the source of some of the country’s finest wines.
For many wine lovers, Mendoza is practically synonymous with Malbec. Originally a Bordelaise variety brought to Argentina by the French in the mid-1800s, here it found success and renown that it never knew in its homeland where a finicky climate gives mixed results. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot and Pinot Noir are all widely planted here as well (and sometimes even blended with each other or Malbec). Mendoza's main white varieties include Chardonnay, Torrontés, Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon.
One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, the best of these are densely hued, fragrant, full of fruit and boast a structure that begs for cellar time. Somm Secret—Blends from Bordeaux are generally earthier compared to those from the New World, which tend to be fruit-dominant.