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.
Nowadays Susana Balbo's winery, which at one point was called Dominio del Plata, uses 75% of grapes from the Valle de Uco in Mendoza, a percentage that has increased dramatically in the last few years.
There are different lines of wines--Críos, BenMarco, Susana Balbo and Nosotros. They have refined their grape suppliers and the Críos range has been produced again, as it was in the past, with only a percentage of wine aged in used barrels rather than with oak staves. I saw an improvement toward more freshness and better definition of the wines. The whites really surprised me this year.
Rating: 92 points
Drink Date: 2018 - 2024
Reviewed by: Luis Gutiérrez
Issue Date: 30th Dec 2016
Source: 228, The Wine Advocate