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Susana Balbo Signature Malbec 2008

Malbec from Argentina
  • RP91
  • WS91
14% ABV
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  • WS91
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  • RP91
  • JS92
  • RP90
  • WS90
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  • WE90
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14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Beautiful deep violet color with exploding aromas of blackberry, black cherry, and violets framed by hints of oak and mint. The wonderful aromas are mirrored on the palate, and they are joined by ripe plum fruit and a hint of toasty vanilla, bittersweet chocolate, and a hint of mint on the finish. This is a ripe and rich style of wine, but the Cabernet adds structure, reigning in the fruit and focusing it into a long finish.

A wine that truly struggles between its fun and serious side. Pairs well with a wide range of foods from beef and pork to game birds or even meat-based pastas. This is what Malbec is all about.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2008 Malbec received the same elevage as the Cabernet. Purple-colored, the nose offers up toasty oak, cinnamon, allspice, and black cherry. Medium- to full-bodied, it has excellent depth and grip, savory flavors, and enough fine-grained tannin to evolve for 2-3 years. It, too, can be enjoyed from 2011 to 2017.
WS 91
Wine Spectator
Creamy and pure, with gorgeous spice and black tea aromas leading the way for lush, velvety raspberry, cassis and boysenberry fruit. It all sails through the full-bodied, supple finish.
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Susana Balbo

Susana Balbo

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Susana Balbo, 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".

Argentina

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With vineyards tretching along the eastern side of the Andes Mountains from Patagonia in the south to Salta in the north, Argentina is one of the world’s largest and most dynamic wine producing countries—and most important in South America.

Since the late 20th century vineyard investments, improved winery technology and a commitment to innovation have all contributed to the country’s burgeoning image as a producer of great wines at all price points. The climate here is diverse but generally continental and agreeable, with hot, dry summers and cold snowy winters—a positive, as snow melt from the Andes Mountains is used heavily to irrigate vineyards. Grapes very rarely have any difficulty achieving full ripeness.

Argentina’s famous Mendoza region, responsible for more than 70% of Argentina’s wine production, is further divided into several sub-regions, with Luján de Cuyo and the Uco Valley most noteworthy. Red wines dominate here, especially Malbec, the country’s star variety, while Chardonnay is the most successful white.

The province of San Juan is best known for blends of Bonarda and Syrah. Torrontés is a specialty of the La Rioja and Salta regions, the latter of which is also responsible for excellent Malbecs grown at very high elevation.

Known for its big, bold flavors and supple texture, Malbec is most famous for its runaway success in Argentina. However, the variety actually originates in Bordeaux, where it historically contributed color and tannin to blends. After being nearly wiped out by a devastating frost in 1956, it was never significantly replanted, although it continued to flourish under the name Côt in nearby Cahors. A French agronomist who saw great potential for the variety in Mendoza’s hot, high-altitude landscape, brought Malbec to Argentina in 1868. But it did not gain its current reputation as the country's national grape until a surge in popularity in the late 20th century.

In the Glass

Malbec typically expresses deep flavors of blackberry, plum and licorice, appropriately backed by aromas of freshly turned earth and dense, chewy tannins. In warmer, New World regions, such as Mendoza, Malbec will be intensely ripe, and full of fruit and spice. From its homeland in Cahors, its rusticity shines; dusty notes and a beguiling bouquet of violets balance rich, black fruit.

Perfect Parings

Malbec’s rustic character begs for flavorful dishes, like spicy grilled sausages or the classic cassoulet of France’s Southwest. South American iterations are best enjoyed as they would be in Argentina: with a thick, juicy steak.

Sommelier Secret

If you’re trying to please a crowd, Malbec is generally a safe bet. With its combination of bold flavors and soft tannins, it will appeal to basically anyone who enjoys red wine. Malbec also wins bonus points for affordability, as even the most inexpensive examples are often quite good.

TRD14326_2008 Item# 110765