I really enjoy a big Syrah and the often-hard-to-find Argentinian Bonarda. So when I came across a 50-50 blend of the two from Argentina’s renowned winemaker Susan Balbo I snapped up a bottle at World Market in Carmel for a very reasonable $13.99.

Balbo has become one of Argentina’s biggest names in value wine and respected around the world for her emerging winery.

I had previously tasted Balbo’s Rose of Malbec and blogged about it. I was impressed enough that when I saw this blend I had to give it a try.

I’ve had a glass of this wine at this point in the blog, and I’m having a hard time getting a handle on it. It has a big fruit flavor with intense raspberry and spice nose. There is no question its a bit earthy on the nose and palate, thanks to the Bonarda. It is full bodied – a complete mouthful of wine. And, it is a very dry wine. There is some definite acidity but still, a rather smooth finish. It’s a 13.5 percent alcohol wine.

I did my internet research and learned this is one of Balbo’s favorite projects. Her Malbec and Rose of Malbec have received pretty consistent praise.

This bottle was a 2006 and I just have to wonder what this wine would be like in a few more years. My gut instinct and what I’ve learned in drinking wine, is that it would be a really great wine.

And another note, I noted above I picked this up for $13.99 and found it on the net for an average price of $17.99! And for those of you who note such things, wine guru Robert Parker gave this juice a 90.

So, in summary: A big flavor, a bit harsh on palate probably for some but an interesting wine.

Send comment or questions to: hewitthoward@gmail.com

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