Last week, Wines of Argentina came to Vancouver with their ‘Breaking New Ground’ theme and wow’ed the crowd…
I was invited to a seminar at noon, a trade tasting later in the afternoon, followed by the B.C. Hospitality Foundation‘s fundraiser, ‘Dish ‘n Dazzle’ where the Wines of Argentina were profiled and savoured.
Amidst the structured Malbec and chewy Cabernet Franc, I found my favourite of the day. Hand-crafted by Susana Balbo, her ‘Signature Barrel Fermented Torrontés’ 2015 was, quite honestly, mind-blowing.
I am not usually drawn to aromatic white wines but this truly is outstanding. The wine was left in French oak barrels for 4 months. The flavour profile is full of passionfruit and freshly cut, ripe papaya. The nose smells sweet but it is a dry white wine full of luscious, exotic fruit flavours. The acidity is there to add lift and brightness to the wine – just beautiful.
Torrontés, historically, was used as a common blending grape in wine production in Argentina. That is, until Balbo came along and saw potential in the variety and built her career around elevating Torrontés to a premium grape.
With countless awards and distinctions, Balbo got her start in the early 80’s having graduated from oenology school and became Argentina’s first female winemaker. She went to the relatively new winemaking region of Salta to start her career and she re-wrote the history of wine in Argentina with her first vintage of premium Torrontés.
In 2002, Susana Balbo Winery opened in Agrelo, Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza. Since that time, Balbo crafts incredible wines – the one most commonly seen on the shelves here at the B.C.L.D.B. is the ‘Crios’ label of food-friendly, easy drinking wine.