From Argentina, with love

I have a tendency to go on varietal kicks. I’ll have a bottle of something and fall in love with it. And I’ll want to drink nothing but that variety for a while. I admit, I’m currently in a pinot kick. A few years ago I was in malbec kick.

In the US malbecs are cheap; you have a wide variety to choose from; and generally speaking they’re not bad. For a college student it’s an almost unbeatable choice. Since then, however, I’ve had a falling out with malbecs. I realized that for a few more dollars other varietals were giving me much better bang for my buck than malbecs of a similar price. In Singapore I found this doubly true.
And then, a few days ago, I went to a Dominio del Plata tasting. I rediscovered malbecs. I fell in love with malbecs all over again. I’m getting ahead of myself, however; let’s rewind.
Dominio del Plata by Susana Balbo nestles into the Mendoza region of Argentina. Jullien Bonnard, our guide, started his lesson with Argentina – the grapes, the history, the landscape and climate – everything a wino needs to know about Argentina. Excellent, most of us are more familiar with Australia, Europe, or America.

We started the night with the Crios de Susana Balbo Torrontés ’11. A lovely wine to start the night – not too heavy, dry and acidic. Floral on the nose with a hint of spice, maybe cloves. To me, it’s a quick wine, a ready drink on a hot day.
And then we moved onto the malbecs. Our first was the Crios de Susana Balbo Malbec ’10. This wine is beautiful to look upon – all the wines of the night were. It almost glows a deep, rich, velvety crimson. It’s light, quite refreshing, but it didn’t stir that old found love for malbecs.

Our next wine, the Susana Balbo Malbec ’09, stirred that long forgotten passion for malbecs. It smelled like butter, rich, creamy, inviting. It tasted clean, a touch sweeter than I expected, but mellow and refined.

And then, the Nosotros Malbec ’08. I came back to an old, long forgotten, lover. This wine is beautiful. Refined, elegant, definitely feminine; she starts with even more luscious butter on the nose and those spices from the Torrontés. She tastes delightful, mellow and clean and warm. She left me with smiling lips and a warm gut.

Thank you, Susana Balbo, for bringing me back to malbecs.