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Susana Balbo Signature Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

Cabernet Sauvignon from Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina
  • RP91
  • ST91
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Winemaker Notes

Deep ruby color with hints of purple. Classic Cabernet aromas of rich red fruits, red pepper, plum, tobacco leaf, roasted coffee beans, and a touch of fresh mint. The aromas are echoed on the palate, with layers of fruit and spice pushing on and on. It's a full-bodied wine that has incredible length and purity of flavor—it really keeps you coming back for more. If Cabernet Sauvignon dreamed at night, this is what it would dream about! Pairs well with a wide range of foods from beef and pork to lamb, quail and other game birds, and cream-based sauces. This wine will age very well, so don't forget some bottles for the cellar too.

Blend: 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Malbec

Critical Acclaim

RP 91
The Wine Advocate

Susana Balbo's 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Signature contains 5% Malbec. It was sourced from 31-year-old ungrafted vines and spent 15 months in 80% new French oak before bottling without fining or filtration. Medium purple in color, it sports an inviting nose of pain grille, pencil lead, spice box, violets, black currant and blackberry. Medium-bodied, supple-textured, layered, and spicy on the palate, it has excellent volume, savory flavors, and impeccable balance. Give this lengthy Cabernet another 2-3 years of cellaring and drink it from 2012 to 2023.

ST 91
International Wine Cellar

Bright ruby-red. Blueberry, cassis, menthol and mineral aromas lifted by spices and flowers; rather Bordeaux-like. Sexy and sweet in the middle but with firm acidity keeping the blackberry, menthol and spicy oak flavors under wraps today. This juicy, firmly built wine finishes with a serious backbone of tannins and acids. Its spine and restrained aromatics suggest holding it for two or three years of further development in bottle. An impressively energetic and classy cabernet sauvignon for this moderate price. Susana Balbo works with older vines and lower yields, preferring to use a relatively warm, extractive fermentation to make wines that will age; the wines she crafts under the BenMarco label are more user-friendly and designed for earlier consumption.

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Susana Balbo

Susana Balbo

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Susana Balbo, , South America
Susana Balbo
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".

California

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Responsible for the vast majority of American wine production...

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Responsible for the vast majority of American wine production, if California were a country, it would be the world’s fourth largest wine-producing nation. The state’s diverse terrain and microclimates allow for an incredibly wide-ranging selection of wine styles, and unlike tradition-bound Europe, experimentation is more than welcome here. Wineries range from boutique to massive corporations, and price and quality are equally varied—plenty of inexpensive bulk wine is made in the Central Coast area, while Napa is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and expensive “cult” wines.

Just about every style of wine you can imagine is made in California, from bone dry to unctuously sweet, still to sparkling, light and fresh to rich and full-bodied. Each AVA and sub-AVA has its own distinct personality. In the Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and other Bordeaux varieties dominate, as well as Sauvignon Blanc. Sonoma County is best known for Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Zinfandel. The Central Coast has carved out a niche with Rhône blends based on Grenache and Syrah, while Mendocino has found success with Alsatian varieties such as Riesling and Gewürztraminer. With all the diversity that California has to offer, it is certain that any wine lover will find something to get excited about.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow...

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One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.

In the Glass

Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.

PIO80510105_2008 Item# 108352

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