The Susana Balbo Crios Torrontés 2017 is sourced from vineyards in 2 regions of Argentina, the Uco Valley in Mendoza (the middle of Argentina) and Cafayate in Salta (Northwest Argentina). Both regions are high up in the foothills (1,700 meters or almost 5,600 feet above sea level). The high altitude is inhospitable to almost all grapevine pests and diseases and gives the vines intense sunlight. Torrontés is an Argentinean grape, it seems to be related to other grape varietals, but is found only in Argentina.
Susana Balbo is a world-class winemaker, in 2018 she was voted one of the 10 most influential women in wine. The Crios brand is her entry-level line of wines. I always have great respect for winemakers who not only produced very fine, very expensive wines but could also deliver affordable wine. Her Crios wines routinely receive 90+ points from leading publications. The Crios Torrontés is a young wine, it sees no oak aging and after fermentation is aged for 3 months “on lees“. On Lees is when the dead yeast and grape residue leftover from fermentation is kept in with the wine during aging. It adds structure, it often adds a nutty, salty sensation and when stirred often enough can offer a creamy flavor and texture. The alcohol content is 13.5%. As a side note the back label shows the time and the date the wine was bottled, that is good information to know with a young wine, where the sooner you drink it the better. Though, you really have a couple of years before these wines lose their “shine”.
The Tasting Notes
The color is very clean, clear, and wheat yellow. The nose is very floral and perfumed. there is lemon chiffon, citrus hard candies, very ripe peach and pear, pungent flowers, and tropical fruit, this is not a shy wine. This is a dry wine, not sweet at all, but it has some flavors that you would associate with sweeter wines. It tastes of dried apricots and syrup from canned pears (not sweet), peach, grapefruit, and lemon/lime. The mid-palate adds guava, crisp apple, and tangerine, with a late slap of salty cashew. The acidity is well-balanced, enough to let the flavors unfold, but not enough to bite. The finish is full and long.
- If you are in a White wine rut, too much Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, and Sauvignon Blanc, Torrontés just may be the cure.
- The Susana Balbo Crios Torrontés 2017 is a well-made wine, if you have never sampled Torrontés before, this is a good place to start.
- ThisTorrontés has a great deal of flavor, but also good body and structure, maybe not a summer afternoon wine, but definitely a summer evening wine.