Sips: From Argentina, Susana Balbo’s 2010 “Signature” Cabernet Sauvignon

These days, Argentina is best known for malbec, the country’s most important  red variety, which thrives in the hot, dry climate. But beyond malbec, Argentina has long produced some excellent cabernet sauvignons, including one I enjoyed the other night. Susana Balbo, one of the country’s best-known winemakers, produces a range of wines, and her 2010 “Signature” Cabernet Sauvignon from Mendoza deserves consideration for those looking for interesting, moderately priced cabernets that can be enjoyed now. The wine is 90 percent cab and 10 percent malbec and seemed made for a piece of prime London broil that I seared in a cast-iron skillet. This is classic, New World cabernet sauvignon, more California than Bordeaux, with sweet blackberry fruit and cassis tastes, cedar and a touch of black licorice. The bottle puts alcohol at 14.5 percent, but it didn’t seem that high, probably because of the wine’s balance. In any event, this is a first-rate cab for current drinking and well worth the $25 suggested price. There were 500 cases produced. Imported by Vine Connections, Sausalito, California. Received as a press sample.

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