Mendoza, Susana Balbo Wines, 2018
Golden yellow with brilliant green tinge. After aeration this Chardonnay develops fine hazelnut notes mixed with an exotic pineapple and lychee aspect. On palate a nice balance of fruit and a creamy, almost honeyed, structure. Beautiful intense aromatic persistence with a nice fresh finish.
|Origin:||Argentinien / Mendoza|
|Site / vineyard:||auf 1200 m Höhe|
|Ripening potential:||1 to 3 years|
|Serving temperature:||10 to 12 °C|
|Food pairing suggestion:||Apéro pastries, Apéro riche, Hot Asian dishes, Latin American dishes, Grilled fish, Giant crevettes, grilled langoustines|
|Vinification:||fermentation in steel tank, fermentation at low temperatures|
|Maturation:||in used barriques, short cultivation|
Where nostalgia tangoes with innovation
Snow-covered Andean peaks and salt lakes, deserts, rugged mountain villages, elegant colonial cities, vibrant metropolises, red canyons and green valleys – Argentinian has them all. And, of course, excellent wine. Argentina is named after the Latin word for silver, “Argentum,” because of the treasures expected to be found there. Among others, homesick colonialists and Catholic priests had a hand in cultivating these liquid treasures, and today there are approximately 220,000 hectares of vineyards.
Mendoza: Malbec and more
Whenever someone talks about Argentinian wine, they generally mean wines from Mendoza. Roughly 60 percent of all Argentine wines are produced around the metropolis of the same name. In particular, Malbec, a red wine variety originating from southwestern France, has found a new home here, providing focused, well-structured wines. Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay also thrive. The best wines result from high elevations, in the foothills of the Andes
Susana Balbo Wines
The mighty Aconcagua watches over the plain of Mendoza, 1000 kilometres from Argentina’s capital Buenos Aires. A barren, semi-arid land where Jesuits and Franciscans, after the Spanish conquest in the 16th century, discovered favourable natural conditions for viticulture.
At 1000 to 3000 meters above sea level lies this oldest and most important wine region of the country. The village of Agrelo, near Luján de Cuyo, is home to the bodega founded by Susana Balbo in 1999. She is a woman with an impressive career. In 1981, she became the first woman in Argentina to successfully complete her degree in œnology. In 2015, Drinks Business magazine named her “Woman of the Year”. In 2018, she was recognised as one of the ten most influential women in the international wine trade. She also presided over the national marketing organisation Wines of Argentina for several years.
King or beggar?
Hardly any variety of vine shows such a broad spectrum of quality as the Chardonnay. Its wines range from faceless neutrality to breath-taking class. It is an extremely low-maintenance vine, which explains why it is grown around the world – even in places where it probably should not be. The aromas of the Chardonnay variety are not very pronounced: a bit of green apple, a little hazelnut; in warmer latitudes, also melon and exotic fruits. The wines are often defined by maturing in casks. They develop more or less subtle notes of butter, toasted bread and vanilla. The grapes achieve their highest expression in their region of origin, Burgundy. Its heart beats in the Côte de Beaune: one might think of the plant growth of Meursault or Puligny-Montrachet. With their finesse and complexity, they can survive for decades. Chardonnay also achieves first class in some Blanc-de-Blancs champagnes. It additionally yields great wines in the Burgundian Chablis, and increasingly in Australia and Chile. A simple rule of thumb for pairing with food: When butter and cream are involved, you cannot go wrong with Chardonnay.