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Susana Balbo Signature Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Cabernet Sauvignon from Mendoza, Argentina
  • JS92
  • WS91
  • W&S91
  • TP91
  • WW91
  • RP90
14.5% ABV
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3.8 23 Ratings
14.5% ABV

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.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
JS 92
James Suckling
A cab with attractive blackberry, dark chocolate and walnuts. Full body, with soft tannins and a racy finish. Pretty texture and savoriness. Better in 2015.
WS 91
Wine Spectator
A flashy red, showing ripe cassis and racy cherry coulis notes, wound with a structured layer of spice, mocha and licorice.
W&S 91
Wine & Spirits
Right on point, this is a textbook cabernet. It grows at two vineyards, one in Agrelo, the other higher up in Altamira; the blend includes five percent Malbec. It's a robust mouthful, with scents of cassis and black pepper clearly delineated through a smooth and elegant finish. This will benefit from several years in the cellar, or serve it now will grilled sausages.
TP 91
Tasting Panel
Dark, smooth and lush with clean, bright and tangy style; juicy, snappy and pure with deep plum, blackberry and spice; long and dense.
WW 91
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
I first met Susana Balbo a decade ago with the backdrop of the Andes and what I saw in her eyes was the soul the heart of a winemaker. Ms. Balbo is one of the world's great wine luminaries. The 2012 Susana Balbo Signature Cabernet is one of the world's best values in this varietal field. The wine is very dark, super enticing in the nose and satisfying on the palate. Medium to deep ruby color; a superb intermix of licorice, black fruit and sweet earth in the nose, yes there is more just fruit here; medium bodied, frisky and fine on the palate, perfectly poised sweet tannins keeps everything all in place; dry, pleasing acidity, well balance; unbridled red currants and black licorice and sweet earth in the flavors; long finish, crisp and active in the aftertaste. (Tasted: February 12, 2016, San Francisco, CA)
RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2012 Susana Balbo Signature Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from Vista Flores and Altamira in the Uco Valley blended with 5% Malbec from Altamira. 20% of the wine is barrel-fermented with punching down and has medium intensity, with subtle aromas, and is a little closed. It requires time in the glass and some swirling around to reveal notes of red and black fruits. It has a medium-bodied palate where the smoky flavors of the wood and the peppermint are well-blended and the fine-grained tannins are in good balance with the acidity. This is a balanced, ripe Cabernet. Drink now-2019.
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Susana Balbo

Susana Balbo

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Susana Balbo, Mendoza, Argentina
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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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Cabernet Sauvignon

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A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon enjoys success all over the globe. Inherently high in tannins and acidity, the best bottlings of Cabernet can age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region and forms the base of the Medoc reds, which are typically mostly Cabernet with Merlot and smaller amounts of some combination of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. (Enjoying a great deal of success in various regions around the world, this blend is now globally referred to as a Bordeaux Blend.) Cabernet Sauvignon from the Napa Valley is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious, age-worthy and sought-after “cult” wines.

In the Glass

High in color, tannin and extract, Cabernet Sauvignon expresses notes of blackberry, cassis, plum, currant, spice and tobacco. In Bordeaux and elsewhere in the Old World you'll find the more earthy, tannic side of Cabernet, where it is typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California Washington, Argentina, Chile and Australia, you can typically expect more ripe fruit flavors upfront.

Perfect Pairings

Cabernet Sauvignon is right at home with rich, intense meat dishes—beef, lamb and venison, in particular—where its opulent fruit and decisive tannins make an equal match to the dense protein of the meat. With a mature Cabernet, opt for tender, slow-cooked meat dishes.

Sommelier Secrets

Despite the modern importance and ubiquity of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is actually a relatively young variety. In 1997, DNA profiling revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.

RWC253083_2012 Item# 129542