In January, Brian and the team welcomed Laurie Webster, Wine Specialist of 'Las Bodegas' to showcase
Susana Balbo Wines
Susana’s career in wine began in 1981 when she graduated with a degree in oenology from Don Bosco University, effectively becoming the first female winemaker in Argentina. Her wines reflect her authority and knowledge of terroir and winemaking; making her title 'Queen of Torrontés' indisputable.
A true pioneer of her craft, Susana has been elected three times as President of Wines of Argentina. On an international stage, Susana Balbo Wines are seen to be a true leading force, producing some of the most highly revered of Argentine wine.
Brian was tasked with tasting the selection and creating a four-course meal to compliment the range. He carefully put together a selection of dishes using premium Scottish produce. The following is what transpired...
Asian-spiced marinated salmon, king prawn tempura with coriander dressing was the first course to set mouths salivating on the evening. This dish was served with Susana's 2015 barrel-fermented Signature Series Torrontes. Grapes are sourced from the Finca La Delfina vineyard located in Altamira, Uco Valley. Made in only very limited quantities, the grapes are hand-harvested, destemmed and macerated for 6 hours at 6C before a gentle pressing. The juice is then fermented for three months in medium-toast French oak barrels. This process resulting in the creation of a very interesting wine.
The nose shows delicate floral notes, with subtle oak qualities. On the palate, hints tropical fruit prevail, along with acidity from hints of lime. Then it balances, in an elegant and long finish of light honey and creamy vanilla. The palate is full, yet finely balanced, making it the perfect accompaniment to the Asian spiced salmon. With vanilla & oak properties highlighting the dishes warming spice character and acidity cutting through the crisp tempura batter coating to season the prawns. In all, the perfect start to the evening.
Next up the 2015 Ben Marco Malbec. Made according to the 'terrior driven vision' of Susana's General Manager and Argentine wine veteran, Edgardo Del Pópolo. He produces the BenMarco range with as little intervention as possible so wines may reflect exact grape type according to its vintage and terroir.
The 2015 BenMarco Malbec was fresher than it's 2014 predecessor, meaning it shows firm tannins matched with bright acidity - helping elongate the palate of fleshy, dark fruit flavours.
Brian's dish of aromatic pork pastilla and Jerusalem artichoke was a heavenly match for this wine, bringing definition to the aromatic herb notes that feature and marrying with the dish to create a sensory overload.
Medallion of Scotch beef with kale and garlic puree and roast parsnips was served up as the main course and was matched with the standalone favourite of the evening, Susana Balbo's 2013, Limited Edition Crios Tannat. Visually, the wine has an intense black colour- giving the palate no preconcieved idea on what exact taste may ensue. The nose reveals delectable whiffs of black fruit and blueberries, accented with smokey notes to intrigue one further. The palate is inviting, juicy and plump. The smooth beginning soon emerges into a more serious wine leading to a long gobsmacking finale that leaves your palate wanting more.
Black fruits lovingly match with the beautifully cooked Scotch beef. Garlic puree kale brings a great firm flavour to match this powerful red. Roast parsnips add texture to the dish and give an earthly sweet quality, that further enhances the complex fruit characters of this outstanding wine.
The 2016 Late Harvest Malbec was our last offering of the evening. Grapes are 100% hand-harvested, de-stemmed and fermented in a small tank. Complete malolactic fermentation after a 35 day rest on select lees, then 7 months in new French oak barrels to produce this delectable drop
Black cherries and tobacco feature on the nose with the palate showing a surprisingly delicate layering of juicy red fruits all combined with notes of dark chocolate. Perfectly paired with Brians rich dark chocolate mousse and poached plums with cookie crumble. Needless to mention, not a morsel was left by guests.
Brian and the team would like to extend their sincere thanks to all at Inverarity Morton
and Laurie Webster for showcasing the Susana Balbo range at our exclusive event.
Find out more here
about our May Wine Dinner with company Antipodean Sommelier's founder and grower, James Leary alongside Alexander Wines.
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