Susana Balbo Signature Malbec 2017
Beautiful deep violet color with exploding aromas of blackberries, blueberries and black cherries. It is a wonderfully floral, pure expression of Uco Valley. On the palate it has enticing flavors of plum, berries, with a bright acidity and a lick of chalk. Well-integrated oak and filigree tannins. Its finish is elegant, velvety and long.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
There are some spicy and smoky aromas in the 2017 Susana Balbo Signature Malbec, which matured in oak barrels, 30% of them new, the rest second use, for 13 months. It comes from Altamira and has some 6% Cabernet Sauvignon. There are notes of ripe berries, blackberries and a touch of toast. It has flavors of creamy oak, herbs and ripe fruit. They have been lowering the oak in this range, but it's still oakier than the BenMarco range. 100,000 bottles produced.
Susana Balbo graduated from Don Bosco University in Mendoza in 1981 and established herself as Argentina’s first female enologist and, since then, has been considered one of Argentina’s top winemakers. Three times her industry peers elected her to the Presidency of Wines of Argentina because of her work ethic, innovative winemaking techniques and dedication to the worldwide success of Argentine wine.
After working for twenty years as a consulting winemaker, Susana founded her own brand in 2000. In 2001, she broke ground for her winery in Agrelo in the Luján de Cuyo district of Mendoza. There, she makes her Susana Balbo “Signature” line of wines, as well as wines under the Crios, Nosotros and BenMarco labels. Her winemaking approach for the wines that bear her name is to seamlessly apply her human touch and enhance the grape’s innate character.
Over several decades of winemaking in Argentina, Susana has earned a reputation for a pioneering spirit and innovation. She is known for experimenting with various barrel sizes and aging regimens, fermentation of wine in egg-shaped concrete fermenters, and wild yeast fermentations. The Wine Advocate’s Luis Gutierrez dubbed her groundbreaking barrel-fermented Torrontés one of the “10 Argentine Wines to Drink before You Die.”
With a winning combination of cool weather, high elevation and well-draining alluvial soils, 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.
Celebrated for its bold flavors and supple texture, Malbec has enjoyed runaway success in Argentina since the late 20th century. The grape originated in Bordeaux, France, where it historically contributed color and tannin to blends. A French agronomist, who saw great potential for the variety in Mendoza’s hot, high-altitude landscape, brought Malbec to Argentina in 1868. Somm Secret—If you’re trying to please a crowd, Malbec is generally a safe bet with its combination of dense fruit and soft tannins.