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2011 Susana Balbo Cabernet Sauvignon Mendoza
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92 Points | Stephen Tanzer's IWC - March/April 2013

Good bright, medium ruby.  Cassis, licorice and menthol aromas are lifted by minerals and violet.  Seamless but youthfully tight on entry, then opens up spectacularly on the back half, showing superb noble tannins, excellent peppery lift and outstanding persistence.  Susana Balbo attributes both the wine's fine-grained tannins and its peppery element to fully ripe grapes in 2011.  Incidentally, she noted that the white netting used to protect the cabernet vines from hail and birds has the effect of reducing sunlight on the fruit by 10%; the black netting used for malbec cuts ultraviolet light by as much as 40%, extending the growing season by up to 15 days.

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About Argentina

Until the early 1990s, Argentina's wine industry was focused inward, as the local market's thirst was sufficient to absorb the huge quantities of everyday drinking wine produced there. But with per-capita consumption in the domestic market in sharp decline since the mid-1970s, Argentina's wine producers realized that they had to look to export markets to remain in business, and winemaking in Argentina began its transformation.

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Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon built its reputation on Bordeaux's Left Bank. Here, in the district of Medoc, the varietal is the key component of blended wines that also may include some Merlot and Cabernet Franc, and even Malbec and Petit Verdot. Moving slightly south, Cabernet Sauvignon meets Merlot in roughly equal proportions in the red wines of Graves. In both of these Bordeaux regions, the top bottles...
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