Susana Balbo Brioso, 2005

I have long been a fan of Susana Balbo’s Malbecs since I first discovered them on the rip-off wine list of the Gaucho Grill.  So I was intrigued to see this blend, named Brioso, on the virtual shelves of the Wine Society.  At £14.95 ($30) it is not cheap so it needs to be measured against serious competition.

As blends go, this one has a whopping 5 varietals contributing to the mix, but did this add as many facets to the flavour of the wine?

Balbo Baggins is back with Brioso.

Brioso is made from 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Malbec, 10% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot, and 5% Merlot.

At 13.5% alcohol, I thought it might be an attempt to imitate a Bordeaux style, but I was pleased to discover it had its own personality.  Not a complete nutter – more like a slightly mad, but very interesting uncle who gets wheeled out at Christmas to regale the family with hilarious war tales, after a couple of glasses of port.

It is too jammy to be French Cabernet, and simultaneously too refined and smooth to be a new world blockbuster.  There is a super long finish that left me smacking my lips in a way I have not done since I last kissed Angelina Jolie (don’t tell Brad).  I did find it quite tannic though, and I wonder if it will improve in the bottle a while yet.

As for flavour, I discovered where the name of the wine came from:
 Olives (black)

Contrived? You bet.
Nice wine?  Better bet on it.
Cheap?  No.
Worth it?  A L’Oréal moment.

2 Responses to “Susana Balbo Brioso, 2005”

  1. Douglas Says:

    Maybe you needed a lot of raw-ish meat to assist with the tannins?

  2. marcos Says:

    I was looking for an expert review for one of my favorites wines. I post a link from my blog. congratulations for yours. regards from buenos aires. Marcos

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