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2011 Susana Balbo Malbec Signature Mendoza
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91 Points | Stephen Tanzer's IWC - March/April 2013

(includes 5% cabernet sauvignon):  Full, saturated red-ruby.  Very pure, soil-inflected aromas and flavors of blackberry liqueur, mocha, truffle and smoky minerality, complicated by hints of milk chocolate and crushed herbs.  Juicy and spicy but a bit youthfully imploded, with enticing sweetness leavened by brisk acidity.  Most impressive today on the long, energetic, firmly tannic finish, which leaves behind notes of blackberry, black cherry, espresso and dark chocolate.  Give this at least two or three years in the cellar before pulling the cork.  Susana Balbo is now toasting her barrels with convection, which she says gives sweetness to the wines without an overbearing oakiness.  (A second bottle, of equal quality, was more plush and pliant in the mid-palate, but equally long and gripping.

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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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The Malbec grape may have originated in southwest France, where it still is grown under the name Cot. However, the grape's international profile has surged not because of what's going on in France, but rather because of current trends in Argentina.
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