Wine Pick of the Week: Crios de Susana Balbo Torrontés 2014
May 1, 2015
One of Argentina’s great wine minds visited our city this week to talk about and share tastes of her fresh, pure, articulate wines. Susana Balbo owns the Mendoza-based Dominio del Plata wine estate, which produces the well-priced Crios and Ben Marco labels. Though she once nursed an ambition to study nuclear physics, Balbo ultimately joined her family’s viticulture business. She went on to become one of the most influential figures in Argentinian wine, and now wields her expertise internationally as a consultant in Spain, Chile, Italy, Brazil, Australia, and California. Her children do the hard yards at Dominio del Plata now, so that she can steer Wines of Argentina, the organization that, since 1993, has worked globally to promote the wines of her diverse and beautiful land.
Crios de Susana Balbo Torrontés 2014
$14.39 (on sale for $13.39 until May 2)
Jasmine scents mingle with exotic citrus, herbal honey, and white peach on the heady nose of this seductive, aromatic white. Bold flavours of lime curd, guava, and orange Creamsicle define the palate, with a long, saline-dry finish. It’s got luscious body, plenty of fruit and structure, and it positively tingles with tangy verve. Susana Balbo made her first torrontés wine in 1982, and has learned along the way that canopy management is the key to avoiding the grape’s natural tendency to bitterness. She sources half the fruit from pergola vineyards in high-altitude Cafayate, and half from Mendoza’s Altamira zone, where calcareous soils ramp up acidic tension. (Look for a striking new label mid-summer for this Argentine standout.) Try it with halibut baked in parchment paper, anointed with a little coconut milk, a few lime leaves, a lemongrass stalk, and drizzle of sesame oil.