Wine Advocate 90 points - The 2007 Syrah (50%)-Bonarda (50%) which spent 9 months in French and American oak before bottling without fining or filtration (as is the case for all 3 of the red wines). Dark ruby-colored, it sports an aromatic array of cedar, cinnamon, violets, blueberry, and plum. Medium-bodied, spicy, layered, and well-balanced, this flavorful effort will drink well over the next 4 years. (Aug 2009)
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Wine maker notes
Syrah is the well-known grape of France’s Rhone Valley and Australia’s Shiraz.. Not well-known outside Argentina, Bonarda is surprisingly second only to Malbec in red grape plantings. Its origins are in Italy’s Piedmont region where it represented 30% of all pre-phylloxera plantings. In Mendoza, yields can reach 12 tons per acre (though with little flavor concentration). The key to producing great Bonarda is finding very old vines growing in the warm, sandy soils of eastern Mendoza, then limiting vigor through severe pruning and irrigation techniques. Luckily, Susana’s husband, Pedro, owns and manages such a vineyard.
In a country dominated by male winemakers, Susana Balbo stands out not only for her gender, but for her incredible skill and experience. She has been making wine since she earned her enology degree in 1981, and she has probably produced a wider variety of wines than any other winemaker in Argentina. Susana was the first Argentine winemaker to be hired as a consultant to make wine outside of Argentina. She has made wine in Australia, California, Chile, France, Italy, South Africa, and Spain, and she spends a month each year in a different wine region of the world studying with local winemakers and growers.
After twenty years of producing wines for others, Susana decided it was time to apply her education and experience to her own wines and put her name right on the bottle. Susana strives for balance in her wines, with layers of complexity coming from the individually fermented varietals. She wants people who drink her wines to feel that every sip from the glass is as exciting as the first.