Susana Balbo Brioso 2014 Front Label
Susana Balbo Brioso 2014 Front LabelSusana Balbo Brioso 2014 Front Bottle Shot

Susana Balbo Brioso 2014

  • JS95
  • WS93
  • RP92
750ML / 14.5% ABV
Other Vintages
  • JS95
  • RP93
  • D91
  • JS92
  • WS91
  • RP91
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750ML / 14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Deep, brooding and intense garnet color with deep aromas of black currants framed by light French oak. Big, lush and concentrated with a core of red and black currant fruit. It has a range of layered flavors including dark chocolate, tobacco and cedar leading into a long finish.

Pairs well with beef, pork, lamb, squab, quail and duck.

Blend: 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Malbec, 25% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot

Critical Acclaim

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JS 95
James Suckling
A powerful and structured red with balance and harmony. Full body, fine and silky tannins and a chocolate, tile and currant undertone.
WS 93
Wine Spectator
Well-sculpted and luscious, offering raspberry, currant and plum flavors, with fresh acidity. Minerally midplate, with slate, dried herb and pepper notes on the long finish. Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2022.
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Susana Balbo's 2014 Brioso also belongs to the Signature range, and it's a selection of the best plots from their vineyard in Agrelo, the coolest part of Luján de Cuyo. The blend varies with the year, and in 2014 it was 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% each Malbec and Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot. The Malbec fermented in a 6,500-liter tank and the rest in open top barrels, all with indigenous yeasts. This is still aged in 100% new French oak barrels for some 15 months. It has a 1990s profile, with plenty of oak-related aromas, sweet spices, smoke, dark chocolate and espresso coffee. There is a little less toast in the barrels used in this 2014. The palate shows abundant, slightly dusty tannins and classical proportions, elegant within the powerful style. They are progressively reducing the influence of the barrels in the wine, but this is still for fans of oaky wines. The notes from the élevage should integrate with more time in bottle.
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Susana Balbo

Susana Balbo

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Susana Balbo, South America
Susana Balbo Susana Balbo Winery Winery Image
Susana became the first female enologist in Argentina after graduating with honors from Don Bosco University in Mendoza in 1981. Due to the male-dominated industry in Mendoza, her first job took her north to Salta where she changed Argentine wine history with her first vintage of premium Torrontés. Susana continually seeks innovative ways to enhance her winemaking, from experimenting with barrel volumes (160L through 6,500L) to testing wild vs cultured yeasts. For premium wine production, Susana chooses concrete eggs for fermenting vessels. The egg's porous concrete breathes like oak yet allows the wine to develop as if it were made in stainless steel. The resulting wine has a pure expression of fruit with a richer, more complex mouthfeel. In 2011 and 2012, Susana's son Jose and daughter Ana joined the winery to help build SBW to where it is today. Jose helps Susana as the winery's head of R&D alongside his role as Exportation Manager. Ana is SBW's Marketing Manager as well as General Manager of the winery restaurant Osadía de Crear. Susana continuously seeks uncharted territory in the wine world to see what limits can be tested. Most recently, Susana crafted Argentina's first Barrel Fermented Torrontes. It's a wine that is not only the first of its kind, but harvested from a previously unproven terroir for Torrontés in the Uco Valley. The Wine Advocate's Luis Gutierrez calls it one of the "10 Argentine Wines to Drink Before You Die".
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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.

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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, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

Tasting Notes for Bordeaux Blends

Bordeaux Blends are dry, red wines and generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, black cherry plum, graphite, cedar and violet. Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines, modeled after the Right Bank, are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure.

Perfect Food Pairings for Bordeaux Blends

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secrets for Bordeaux Blends

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

RRM4095342_2014 Item# 289693

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