Susana Balbo Brioso

Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza

Tasting Notes

Bright ruby red color with alluring aromas of black cherry, cassis, black plum and spices. Smooth but energetic palate which concentrates black currant flavors and vibrant tannins, leading to a long and firm finish. Very elegant.

Beef, pork, lamb, squab, quail and duck.

Hand picked, destemmed, lightly crushed and selected yeast. Pumping over and delestage three times a day. Max. temp. 31°C. Extended maceration 35 days. Aged for 15 months in 100% new French oak barrels.

Blend is 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Cabernet Franc, 16% Malbec and 7% Petit Verdot. Alcohol 14%; acidity 5.8 g/L.

Grapes selected from Finca Dominio in Agrelo, Luján de Cuyo, grown at an elevation of 990 m.

Tasting Notes

Bright ruby red color with alluring aromas of black cherry, cassis, black plum and spices. Smooth but energetic palate which concentrates black currant flavors and vibrant tannins, leading to a long and firm finish. Very elegant.

Red meat, pork, lamb, quail and duck. Funghi risotto and pasta with peppery sauce.

Hand picked, destemmed, lightly crushed and selected yeast. Pumping over and delestage three times a day. Max. temp. 31°C. Extended maceration 35-40 days. Aged for 15 months in 100% new French oak barrels.

Blend is 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Malbec, 25% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot. Alcohol 14.5%; acidity 6.2 g/L.

Grapes selected from Finca Dominio in Agrelo, Luján de Cuyo, grown at an elevation of 990 m.

Tasting Notes

A deep, velvety yet firm color. Aromas of blueberry, sweet spices, smoke, dark chocolate and espresso coffee. The palate shows lightly chewy tannins and classical proportions. It has a fine, flavorful finish with great aging potential.

Red meat, pork, lamb, quail and duck. Funghi risotto and pasta with peppery sauce.

Hand picked, destemmed, lightly crushed and selected yeast. Pumping over and delestage three times a day. Max. temp. 31°C. Extended maceration 35-40 days. Aged for 15 months in 100% new French oak barrels.

Blend is 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Malbec, 25% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot. Alcohol 14.5%; acidity 6.2 g/L.

Grapes selected from Finca Dominio in Agrelo, Luján de Cuyo, grown at an elevation of 990 m.

Tasting Notes

Bright ruby red color with alluring aromas of black cherry, cassis, black plum and spices. Smooth but energetic palate which concentrates black currant flavors and vibrant tannins, leading to a long and firm finish. Very elegant.

Red meat, pork, lamb, quail and duck. Funghi risotto and pasta with peppery sauce.

Hand picked, destemmed, lightly crushed and selected yeast. Pumping over and delestage three times a day. Max. temp. 31°C. Extended maceration 35-40 days. Aged for 15 months in 100% new French oak barrels.

Blend is 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Malbec, 25% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot. Alcohol 14.5%; acidity 6.2 g/L.

Grapes selected from Finca Dominio in Agrelo, Luján de Cuyo, grown at an elevation of 990 m.

Tasting Notes

Dark red-ruby. Peppery dark fruits, black tea, cedar and fresh herbs on the vibrant nose. Reveals a terrific purity of fruit perfectly framed by ripe acidity. Finishes broad, with ripe tannins and excellent grip.

Pair with beef, pork, lamb, squab, quail and duck.

Hand picked, destemmed, lightly crushed and selected yeast. Pumping over and delestage three times a day. Max. temp. 31°C. Extended maceration 35-40 days. Aged for 15 months in 100% new French oak barrels.

Blend is 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Malbec, 20% Cabernet Franc and 10% Petit Verdot. Alcohol 14.5%; acidity 6 g/L.

Grapes selected from Finca Dominio in Agrelo, Luján de Cuyo, grown at an elevation of 980 m.

Tasting Notes

Intense garnet color. Deep aromas of black currants framed by light French oak. This is a red blend with great structure and richness. Full body, with silky tannins and a long finish.

Pairs well with beef, pork, lamb, squab, quail and duck.

Destemmed, lightly crushed, and selected yeast. Pump-overs and delestage 3 times a day. Max. temp. 31°C. Extended maceration 35-40 days. Aged for 15 months in 100% new French oak barrels.

Blend is 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Malbec, 15% Cabernet Franc and 5% Merlot. Alcohol 14.5%; acidity 6.2 g/L.

Grapes selected from Finca Dominio in Agrelo, Luján de Cuyo, grown at an elevation of 1,080 m.

  • 91

    points

    Susana Balbo Brioso
    Stephen Tanzer, Vinous, August 2018

    "Bright dark ruby. Inviting scents of blackberry, violet and bitter chocolate. At once creamy, juicy and precise, conveying lovely floral lift and precision to its dark fruit and bitter chocolate flavors. This rather delicate wine boasts excellent lift in the mouth. Finishes with nicely buffered, ripe tannins and slowly rising length. Should make a very elegant dinner-table wine. Balbo shortened this wine's time in 100% new oak from 15 to 12 months in 2016. (Incidentally, she sold much of her 2015 Brioso red to Chile's national airline, LAN.)"

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  • 93

    points

    Susana Balbo Brioso
    Luis Gutiérrez, Wine Advocate, July 2018

    "More austere in the palate but nicely aromatic, the 2016 Brioso shows quite open, with a mixture of violets and sweet spices. The blend this year is 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Malbec, 24% Cabernet Franc and 7% Petit Verdot, and as always, it matured in brand new French oak barrels for 15 months. 20,000 bottles produced."

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  • 95

    points

    Susana Balbo Brioso
    James Suckling, James Suckling, March 2018

    "Brambleberries, blackcurrants, boysenberries, oyster shell, creme de cassis and herbal liqueur but also freshly-cut rosemary, thyme and pepper. Very linear and vibrant on the palate with tightly-wound tannins and very fresh acidity that remains in balance all the way to the long finish. The freshness is really what leaves the final impression. Cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, malbec and petit verdot. Try after 2021."

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  • 90

    points

    Susana Balbo Brioso
    Donald Winkler, International Wine Review, October 2017

    "Medium dark red. This blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Malbec, 20% Cabernet Franc and 10% Merlot offers a lot of drinking pleasure in an inexpensive package. The nose recalls red plum and black raspberry with light herbal notes. There’s good density on the palate with a continuation of bright fruit with an earthy edge and some bright uplifting red fruit notes."

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  • 91

    points

    Susana Balbo Brioso
    Luis Gutiérrez, Wine Advocate, July 2018

    "As with other wines, I tasted both the 2015 and 2016 vintages of the Brioso blend, and the 2015 Brioso showed the slightly riper and more generous character of the year. This wine is always produced with the grapes planted around the vineyard, but the blend varies slightly with the year. In 2015, it is 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Malbec, 25% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot. The palate is round and polished, with moderate acidity. 18,000 bottles were filled in September 2016."

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  • 91

    points

    Susana Balbo Brioso
    Kim Marcus, Wine Spectator, October 2018

    "A fresh-tasting red, with concentrated flavors of cherry, raspberry and damson plum that feature some tobacco leaf notes. The vibrant finish offers engaging minerality, green olive accents and firm tannins. Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2022. 40 cases imported. "

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  • 92

    points

    Susana Balbo Brioso
    James Suckling, James Suckling, June 2018

    "Aromas of blueberry, hot stone and berry follow through to a medium body, lightly chewy tannins and a flavorful finish. A little lean in the center palate. Drink or hold."

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  • 95

    points

    Susana Balbo Brioso
    Patricio Tapia, Descorchados, September 2017

    "N/A"

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  • 92

    points

    Susana Balbo Brioso
    Luis Gutiérrez, Wine Advocate, December 2016

    "Susana Balbo's 2014 Brioso also belongs to the Signature range, and it's a selection of the best plots from their vineyard in Agrelo, the coolest part of Luján de Cuyo. The blend varies with the year, and in 2014 it was 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% each Malbec and Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot. The Malbec fermented in a 6,500-liter tank and the rest in open top barrels, all with indigenous yeasts. This is still aged in 100% new French oak barrels for some 15 months. It has a 1990s profile, with plenty of oak-related aromas, sweet spices, smoke, dark chocolate and espresso coffee. There is a little less toast in the barrels used in this 2014. The palate shows abundant, slightly dusty tannins and classical proportions, elegant within the powerful style. They are progressively reducing the influence of the barrels in the wine, but this is still for fans of oaky wines. The notes from the élevage should integrate with more time in bottle. 14,000 bottles produced."

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  • 93

    points

    Susana Balbo Brioso
    Kim Marcus, Wine Spectator, December 2017

    "A well-sculpted and lusciously fruity red, with a complex mix of raspberry, currant and plum flavors that are matched to fresh acidity. Minerally midpalate with a long finish that echoes notes of slate, dried herb and pepper. Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2022. 834 cases made."

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  • 95

    points

    Susana Balbo Brioso
    Patricio Tapia, Descorchados, January 2017

    "The chosen from Agrelo, Lujan de Cuyo"

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  • 95

    points

    Susana Balbo Brioso
    James Suckling, James Suckling, May 2016

    "A powerful and structured red with balance and harmony. Full body, fine and silky tannins and a chocolate, tile and currant undertone. 45% cabernet sauvignon, 25% malbec, 25% cabernet franc and 5% petit verdot."

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  • 89

    points

    2013 Susana Balbo Brioso
    Kim Marcus, Wine Spectator, 2015

    "A crunchy red, with well-defined flavors of red plum, currant and dried meat. Notes of anise on the muscularly tannic finish, with plenty of slate accents. Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2018. 880 cases imported"

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  • 92

    points

    2013 Susana Balbo Brioso
    Stephen Tanzer, Vinous, March 2016

    "(from estate vines on clay soil adjacent to the winery; aged in 100% new oak): Bright red-ruby. Black cherry, dark berry, tobacco and spice aromas are lifted by an alluring floral topnote. Sappy, concentrated and energetic, offering terrific inner-mouth aromatic lift to its smooth currant and tobacco flavors, with the sexy French oak element in harmony with the wine's fruit. This very smooth wine shows greater sweetness than the Signature Cabernet. Finishes firm and long, with high-quality tannins and terrific lingering fruit. This high-density vineyard features 8,000 vines per hectare; Susana Balbo noted that production is around one kilo of grapes per vine from just two or three bunches. The pH here is a moderate 3.55, and one can see this in the tension of the tannins."

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  • 90

    points

    2012 Susana Balbo Brioso
    Kim Marcus, Wine Spectator, September 2015

    "A well-sculpted and lusciously fruity red, with a complex mix of raspberry, currant and plum flavors that are matched to fresh acidity. Minerally midpalate, with a long finish that echoes notes of slate, dried herb and pepper. Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2022. 834 cases made."

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  • 92

    points

    2012 Susana Balbo Brioso
    James Suckling, June 2015

    "A pretty red with fine tannins and delicious fruit. Medium to full body, integrated and polished tannins and a long finish. Drink or hold. 50% cabernet sauvignon, 20% malbec, 20% cabernet franc and 10% petit verdot."

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  • 92

    points

    2012 Susana Balbo Brioso
    Luis Gutiérrez, Wine Advocate, August 2015

    "The Susana Balbo 2012 Brioso is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% each Malbec and Cabernet Franc and the rest Petit Verdot from their estate vineyard in Agrelo planted at high-density (8,000 plants per hectare). It fermented in a mixture of egg-shaped cement tanks, large oak vats and open barriques and then matured in 100% new French oak for some 14 months (less than in the past, down for 18 months). The nose is very classic with plenty of cedar wood, smoke, sweet spices, graphite, blackberries and dark plums that reflect the ripe, warm vintage. The medium to full-bodied palate drinks like a classic, serious Bordeaux blend aimed for the consumer who wants an elegant, balanced, complex and powerful wine with polished tannins and good length. It has French style with an Argentine twist. This is the last vintage sourced for Agrelo, as in the future this wine will be a blend of fruit from Agrelo and Gualtallary in Tupungato in the Uco Valley. You can have up to 20% grapes from other places and still keep the appellation, so it will continue to be Agrelo, but there will be other origins in the blend. This 2012 will benefit from some time in bottle before pulling the cork. 18,000 bottles produced."

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  • 92+

    points

    2012 Susana Balbo Brioso
    Stephen Tanzer, Vinous, February 2015

    "Dark red-ruby. Peppery dark fruits, black tea, cedar and fresh herbs on the vibrant nose. Densely packed and extremely backward, conveying an impression of sappy energy to its urgent dark berry, black tea and pepper flavors. This began quite tight but really exploded in the glass with aeration, revealing terrific purity of fruit perfectly framed by ripe acidity. Finishes broad and horizontal, with ripe tannins and excellent grip. I'd hold this one for a few years, or give it a couple hours in a decanter if you can't wait."

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  • 94

    points

    2012 Susana Balbo Brioso
    Anthony Dias Blue, Tasting Panel, August 2015

    "Lush and smooth with rich plum, berries and spice; rich, deep and beautifully structured; long and generous. 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Malbec, 20% Cabernet Franc, 10% Petit Verdot."

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  • 88

    points

    Susana Balbo Brioso
    James Suckling, James Suckling, August 2018

    "This has some candied-fruit character and a certain amount of structure, with some tannin on the finish. But there’s a hint of browning apple alongside the candied-fruit note. Drink now."

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  • 90

    points

    Susana Balbo Brioso
    Luis Gutiérrez, Wine Advocate, July 2018

    "The one white wine they produce with Viognier grapes is the 2016 Aigua de Llum, made with the grapes from 22-year-old vines on slate soils. Half of the wine fermented in 300-liter oak barrels and the rest in stainless steel. It matured in 225- and 300-liter oak barrels for four months. It felt very different from what I had tasted previously, quite young and fruit-driven, with some floral notes and simple aromas of white fruit along with a spicy and smoky touch. It didn't really show any Viognier character and came through as a straightforward, fresh white. 1,200 bottles were filled in June 2017."

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  • 90

    points

    Susana Balbo Brioso
    Thomas Matthews, Wine Spectator, September 2018

    "Peach and almond flavors mingle in this juicy white, backed by grapefruit and mineral notes. Not overtly expressive, but the rich texture shows focus and energy. Viognier. Drink now through 2022. 25 cases imported."

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  • 90

    points

    2011 Susana Balbo Brioso
    Kim Marcus, Wine Spectator, September 2015

    "A ripe and rich red, with concentrated flavors of plum, dried blackberry and cherry tart, accented by baker's chocolate and Asian spice details. The creamy finish is plush, with broad-textured savory notes. Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Drink now through 2018. 150 cases made."

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TRADE & MEDIA ASSETS /////////////////

2011 Susana Balbo Brioso Bottle

2011 Susana Balbo Brioso Label

2011 Susana Balbo Brioso Label Sales Sheet

2011 Susana Balbo Brioso Tasting Notes

2012 Susana Balbo Brioso Bottle

2012 Susana Balbo Brioso Label

2012 Susana Balbo Brioso Sales Sheet

2012 Susana Balbo Brioso Shelftalker

2012 Susana Balbo Brioso Tasting Notes

2013 Susana Balbo Brioso Bottle

2013 Susana Balbo Brioso Label

2013 Susana Balbo Brioso Shelftalker

2013 Susana Balbo Brioso Tasting Notes

2015 Susana Balbo Signature Brioso Label

2015 Susana Balbo Signature Brioso Tasting Note

2015 Susana Balbo Signature Brioso Wine Advocate 7-18 Shelftalker

2016 Susana Balbo Signature Brioso Label

2016 Susana Balbo Signature Brioso Tasting Note

2016 Susana Balbo Signature Brioso Wine Advocate 7-18 Sale Sheet

2016 Susana Balbo Signature Brioso Wine Advocate 7-18 Shelftalker

2018 Susana Balbo Signature Wine Advocate reviews 7-18 Sales Sheet

Susana Balbo Signature Brioso Bottle Shot