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Susana Balbo Signature Malbec 2011

Malbec from Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina
  • D93
  • WS90
14.5% ABV
  • JS92
  • WS91
  • JS93
  • RP91
  • JS92
  • RP90
  • WS90
  • JS92
  • TP92
  • WW91
  • RP92
  • WE90
  • WS91
  • RP91
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Beautiful deep violet color with exploding aromas of blackberry, black cherry, andviolets 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, 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 pleasure is all about.

Critical Acclaim

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D 93
Decanter
Winemaker Susana Balbo selects only the top barrels for her Signature series, and in this case the result is a great wine characterised by lovely fruit purity and intensity. With 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, it’s rich yet fresh, with beautiful black fruit and floral aromas. Would be perfect with steak.
WS 90
Wine Spectator
A dense, juicy red, displaying rich plum, crushed wild berry, spice, game and light earth notes that follow through on the long, minerally finish. Smart Buy.
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Susana Balbo

Susana Balbo

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Susana Balbo, Uco Valley, 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".

Uco Valley

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With a winning combination of cool weather, high elevation, and well-draining soil, it is no surprise that Mendoza’s Uco Valley is one of the most exciting up-and-coming wine regions in Argentina. Healthy, easy-to-manage vines produce low yields of high-quality fruit, which in turn create flavorful, full-bodied wines with generous acidity.

This is the source of some of the best Malbec in Mendoza, which can range from value-priced to ultra-premium. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Chardonnay also perform well here.

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 but was susceptible to viticultural problems. After being nearly wiped out by a devastating frost in 1956, it was never significantly replanted, although it did flourish under the name Côt in nearby Cahors. Malbec was brought to Argentina in 1868 by a French agronomist who saw great potential for the variety in Mendoza’s hot, high-altitude landscape, but did not gain its current reputation as the national grape of Argentina until a surge in popularity in the late 20th century thanks to its easy-going drinkability.

In the Glass

Malbec typically expresses deep flavors of freshly turned earth, black fruits from berries to plums, and licorice, appropriately backed by dense, chewy tannins. In warmer, New World regions, such as Mendoza, it can be quite intense and often needs time to mellow before becoming drinkable. In the Old World, its rusticity shines, with aged examples showing dusty notes of leather and tobacco. The best examples in all regions often possess a beguiling bouquet of violets.

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.

RWC251113_2011 Item# 120673