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ACCOLADE RESULTS

91 points

2010 Isabel Mondavi Chardonnay

Steve Heimoff, Wine Enthusiast, April 2012

“Editor’s Choice.  The winemaker pulled out all the bells and whistles, barrel fermenting this Chardonnay, putting it through partial malolactic fermentation, and aging it on the lees. The result is a rich, creamy wine, ripe in pineapple, orange, pear, vanilla and honeysuckle flavors, and brightened with brisk Carneros acidity.  Shows impeccable balance, at a fair price.”

88 points

2010 Isabel Mondavi Chardonnay

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, October 2012

“This crisp, Chablis-styled, medium-bodied 2010 I M Chardonnay reveals excellent texture, medium body and crisp acids along with notes of apple blossoms, caramelized citrus and brioche. Drink it over the next several years.”

86 points

2013 Oberon Merlot

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, August 2015

“The two Bordeaux reds from Oberon are competent and above-average quality wines that are reasonably priced, especially coming from Napa Valley. A blend of nearly 86% Merlot and the rest Syrah and other varietals, the 2013 Merlot offers coffee bean, red currant and sweet cherry notes, dusty loamy soil undertones, medium body and soft tannin.”

88 points

2014 Oberon Cabernet Sauvignon

Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast, March 2017

“To be released”

90 points

2013 Oberon Cabernet Sauvignon

Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast, December 2015

“From Michael Mondavi’s portfolio, this affordable Cabernet is concentrated in red berry and savory leather, a nod to the small amounts of Syrah and Petite Sirah that are included in the blend. French oak provides a hint of vanilla and cardamom, while the medium-bodied palate and attractive finish is washed in coffee.”

86 points

2013 Oberon Cabernet Sauvignon

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, August 2015

“The two Bordeaux reds from Oberon are competent and above-average quality wines that are reasonably priced, especially coming from Napa Valley. The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa is aged 14 months in about 45% new French oak and is a blend of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Petit Verdot, Merlot and touch of Syrah and Petite Sirah. This well-made wine reveals a deep ruby/plum color and a sweet nose of black and red currants, licorice and tobacco leaf. It is medium-bodied and best drunk over the next 2-3 years.”

90+ points

2016 Susana Balbo Signature Rosé

Luis Gutiérrez, Wine Advocate, December 2016

“There is also a 2016 Susana Balbo Rosé following the style of the wines from Provence, harvesting early, with a light pressing to obtain a pale must and using grapes from the Valle de Uco. 2016 broke all the rules about vintages in Mendoza, and it resulted in a very light and fresh rosé produced as a blend of Malbec with 40% Pinot Noir with the faintest trace of sugar and very good acidity and freshness. Its profile reminded me more of a white than a rosé, and it certainly has nothing to do with your average rosé. This is a serious rosé, with clean aromas and a sharp, fresh and very dry palate. This is one of the most impressive rosés I remember from Argentina. 24,000 bottles produced.”

91+ points

2014 Susana Balbo Signature Malbec

Luis Gutiérrez, Wine Advocate, December 2016

“The 2014 Susana Balbo Signature Malbec is sourced from the same vineyard in Altamira where the Torrontés vines are planted, the Finca la Delfina. It contains some 5% of Petit Verdot grapes. It was kept with lees that were occasionally stirred and it matured in French barriques, 30% of them new, for 13 months. They have reduced the oak drastically, and the wine shows purer, fresher and subtler, finely nuanced. The ripeness is contained, it also shows a little less alcohol as it was harvested a little earlier and with more acidity. There is always a note of mint in the wine produced from this vineyard. I very much like this new direction. 80,000 bottles produced.”

93 points

2014 Susana Balbo Signature Malbec

James Suckling, James Suckling, May 2016

“A generous and rich red with lots of blackberry and spice character. Hints of green pepper and spice. Full body, round tannins and a flavorful finish. Malbec with a touch of petit verdot. Drink now.”

90 points

2014 Susana Balbo Signature Malbec

Stephen Tanzer, Vinous, March 2016

“(from sandy, stony, limestone soil in Altamira; aged in 60% new oak): Bright ruby-red. Very pure, vibrant aromas of blackberry, licorice and flowers, plus a complementary whiff of musky oak. Tightly wound, intense and fine-grained, conveying lovely vinosity to the firm dark fruit flavors. Finishes with firm but smooth tannins, excellent length and no rough edges. This wine and the Ben Marco Malbec, also made by under the direction of Susana Balbo, came from reasonable crop levels of about eight tons per hectare.”

93 points

2012 Susana Balbo Signature Malbec

Patricio Tapia, Wine & Spirits, June 2015

“This is mostly malbec (92 percent), the balance cabernet sauvignon, grown in the heights of the Uco Valley.  Its scents of black cherries, raspberries and violets make this a crystalline example of malbec, the influence of oak finely integrated into mild scents of smoke and spice that ride on waves of fruit flavor.  Give this time in the glass and an earthy note brings complexity, offering an exceptional red for the price.”

93 points

2012 Susana Balbo Signature Malbec

James Suckling, James Suckling, July 2014

“A fresh, balanced and harmonious red with cherries, berries and hints of nutmeg character. Full and super integrated with fine tannins and a long, flavorful finish.”

91 points

2013 Susana Balbo Signature Malbec

Stephen Tanzer, Vinous, February 2015

“Bright ruby-red. Pure, vibrant aromas of blackberry, blueberry and mint. A smooth, densely packed midweight with noteworthy inner-mouth tension and lift to the flavors of dark berries and violet. There's something a bit Syrah-like about this very fresh, juicy, long Malbec. Has the strength of character to evolve slowly but this is already easy to appreciate.”

90 points

2013 Susana Balbo Signature Malbec

Luis Gutiérrez, Wine Advocate, August 2015

“The 2013 Susana Balbo Signature Malbec is from Altamira, from the same vineyard where the Torrontés is grown. The wine ferments in a combination of rolling barriques, egg-shaped cement vats, oak vat and open barrels before being blended and put in barrels where the wine matures for 11 months. Some of the barrels have a higher toast level and it gives the wine a little bit of dark chocolate aromas that are quite popular, but to me standardizes the nose a little bit. But there is a nice core of violets and cherries, perfectly ripe, keeping the freshness, while the spice notes of cinnamon and vanilla are quite sweet and complimented by hints of smoke and licorice. The palate is very tasty, with pungent, penetrating flavors, fine-grained tannins and supple flavors. 2013 feels like a very nice vintage. Hold it for one more year to finish integrating those oak aromas. 100,000 bottles produced.”

90 points

2013 Susana Balbo Signature Malbec

Kim Marcus, Wine Spectator, 2015

“An intense and vibrant style, with concentrated red raspberry and dark plum flavors, loaded with Asian spice notes. Delivers floral accents midpalate, with a powerful finish of dark chocolate. Drink now through 2020. 8,000 cases made.”

91+ points

2012 Susana Balbo Signature Malbec

Stephen Tanzer, Vinous, March 2014

“(from 35-year-old vines; blended with 8% cabernet sauvignon; aged in 80% new French oak): Bright ruby-red. Sexy aromas of blackberry, huckleberry, violet, mocha and nutty oak. Suaver and sweeter than the Signature cabernet, with juicy, fruit-driven black plum, blackberry and violet flavors framed by harmonious acidity. Boasts excellent precision and inner-mouth tension for a wine in this price range. Finishes with a firm tannic spine, sneaky length and a hint of minty lift. This is 14.5% alcohol but I never would have guessed.”

92 points

2013 Susana Balbo Signature Malbec

James Suckling, James Suckling, June 2015

“A very refined red with fine tannins, dark chocolate and dark fruits. Full-bodied, tight and pretty. Lovely tannin and fruit tension in this wine.”

92 points

2012 Susana Balbo Signature Malbec

Anthony Dias Blue, Tasting Panel, August 2015

“Smooth and juicy, lush and showing rich cassis, blackberry and spice; sweet vanilla oak, generous flavors and lovely balance.”

89 points

2012 Susana Balbo Signature Malbec

Luis Gutiérrez, Wine Advocate, April 2014

“The 2012 Susana Balbo Signature Malbec is from Altamira with a balancing 10% of Cabernet from Vista Flores aged in French oak barrels (90% new) for 14 months. The predominant aroma is licorice, with aromatic herbs, black cherries and hints of apricots and decayed violets, quite ripe but not overripe. The palate is medium-bodied with herbal and fennel flavors providing freshness, with ripe, round tannins and good length. A very good Malbec that is approachable but should also age well. Drink now-2018.”

88 points

2012 Susana Balbo Signature Malbec

Nathan Wesley, Wine Spectator, November 2013

“This ripe red shows a candied to its edge the dark cherry and plum sauce notes, leading to an aftertaste of licorice and mocha. Drink now. 8,000 cases imported.”