Monday, April 18, 2011

Crios de Susana Balbo Rosé of Malbec, Vintage 2010

I am not that familiar with rosés as a category of wine, but the winemaking process is very interesting, so when I saw this Crios as a recommended wine at the Wine Source, I had to snap it up and try it. When wines are made, all of them - white and red - are made from dark-skinned grapes. White wines are white because when they are fermented, the grapes do not come in contact with the skins or stems, which contain both the pigment and the tannins. Red wines are fermented with the skins and stems, which is why tannins and dark coloration are characteristic of reds. Rosés live somewhere in the middle, where the grapes come into contact with the skins and stems, but only for a brief part of the fermentation process, which is why they have the pinkish coloration and very low tanins. 

Verdict: I have to say I did not enjoy this wine very much at all. We drank it last monday when it was ungodly warm and the AC wasn't turned on yet in Chris' building, so even though I made BBQ pork for dinner (and what have I said about BBQ? Syrah or Zinfandel! I had the chance to enjoy a ZIN!!), we went against our instincts and drank the rosé because it was chilled and we were so damn hot. The wine was spicy and hot in my mouth, with a 13.9% alcohol, and a surprising full body for a rosé. The coloring is also quite deep for a rosé, typical of the thick-skinned malbec grape (the main grape grown in Mendoza, Argentina, from where this wine hails). The nice part about this wine was the nose and the palate were heavy with strawberry and cherry notes/flavors, but between the bad pairing and the glaringly hot alcoholic mouthfeel, I couldn't enjoy much about this wine except it's cool temperature on a hot evening. 

Pairings: Obviously, not BBQ. A rosé is typically a chicken wine, but this spicy version would also go nicely with Thai food or maybe even spicier Chinese food. The a-typical body in this wine makes it more suitable for heavier foods (and less refreshing on a hot day). Don't let me discourage you from trying this wine, just make sure that you pair it appropriately. 

Wine: Crios de Susana Balbo Rosé of Malbec, Vintage 2010
Price: $12.99
Purchased: The Wine Source, Baltimore MD

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