Susana Balbo Brioso 2016
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: 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Cabernet Franc, 16% Malbec, and 7% Petit Verdot.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Brambleberries, blackcurrants, boysenberries, oyster shell, creme de cassis and herbal liqueur, but also freshly-cut rosemary, thyme and peppers. Very linear and vibrant on the palate with tightly-wound tannins and very fresh acidity, which remains in balance all the way to the long finish. The freshness is really what leaves the final impression. Cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, malbec and petit verdot. Try after 2021.
More austere in the palate but nicely aromatic, the 2016 Brioso shows quite open, with a mixture of violets and sweet spices. The blend this year is 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Malbec, 24% Cabernet Franc and 7% Petit Verdot, and as always, it matured in brand new French oak barrels for 15 months.
A little pricey, but fans of rich, ripe Argentinian reds will love this, made by one of the country's most recognised producers. The blend of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Cabernet Franc, 16% Malbec and 7% Petit Verdot was matured for 15 months in new French oak, giving rich overt cedar notes on top of sweet bramble fruit. Velvetty and polished.
Drinking Window 2018 - 2026
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, 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.