Susana Balbo Signature Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
Bright ruby-red. Blueberry, cassis, menthol and mineral aromas lifted by spices and flowers; rather Bordeaux-like. Sexy and sweet in the middle but with firm acidity keeping the blackberry, menthol and spicy oak flavors under wraps today. This juicy, firmly built wine finishes with a serious backbone of tannins and acids. Its spine and restrained aromatics suggest holding it for two or three years of further development in bottle. An impressively energetic and classy cabernet sauvignon for this moderate price. Susana Balbo works with older vines and lower yields, preferring to use a relatively warm, extractive fermentation to make wines that will age; the wines she crafts under the BenMarco label are more user-friendly and designed for earlier consumption.
Susana Balbo's 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Signature contains 5% Malbec. It was sourced from 31-year-old ungrafted vines and spent 15 months in 80% new French oak before bottling without fining or filtration. Medium purple in color, it sports an inviting nose of pain grille, pencil lead, spice box, violets, black currant and blackberry. Medium-bodied, supple-textured, layered, and spicy on the palate, it has excellent volume, savory flavors, and impeccable balance. Give this lengthy Cabernet another 2-3 years of cellaring and drink it from 2012 to 2023.