If you love great quality wine, but are watching your budget, wines from Argentina give you a lot of bang for your buck. Two wines from Susana Balbo’s Crios Wines are stellar examples of the excellent value one can get from this wine region. And the story of Susana Balbo is just as impressive as the wine.
First, the wine. The Crios 2021 Malbec is absolutely delicious. Notes of licorice, coffee, chocolate, and dark fruit meld seamlessly in this beautiful wine. A smooth mouth feel, with a supremely dry finish makes this wine a real treat. It’s food friendly and pairs well with red meats, barbeque fare, pizza, and dark chocolate. It also drinks wonderfully on its own. And it retails for an absolute steal at $15.
The second wine is Crios 2021 Torrentes. This white wine is lyrically floral, balancing notes of lychee, honeysuckle, citrus, and passion fruit. The wine is fresh and crisp with restrained and balanced acidity. This wine is also a steal at only $15.
Next, the story of Susana Balbo is truly inspiring. The following is condensed from the Crios website. Though born into a traditional family, in 1981, Susana Balbo graduated cum laude and became the first female enologist of Argentina.
At the beginning of her career, she went to Cafayate, Salta, where she was hired to run the Sucesión Michel Torino winery. There, she took on the challenge of redefining Torrontes and turning it into a classy, elegant wine. Her innovative work and progress, as well as the quality of the wines she elaborated during that time, earned her a nickname, “Queen of Torrontes”, that she proudly carries until today.
In 1991, after nine years working in Salta, Susana came back to Mendoza, her homeland, with the thought of eventually starting her own personal project. After a few years serving as a consultant and working for other important wineries such as Martins and Catena Zapata, in 1999, Susana decided to take a leap of faith and founded her own winery, thus achieving her lifelong dream of creating her own wines.
Susana is one of the most renowned figures of the wine scene, and her role has helped to position Argentinian wine industry among the top of the world. She was voted by her colleagues to be president of Wines of Argentina (WofA) three times, between 2006-2008, 2008-2010 and 2014-2016, and during these periods the exportation of Argentinian wine grew at an unprecedented, two-digit rate. This reflects Susana’s key role in Argentina’s wine industry takeoff after decades of stagnation, slow growth and an absolute dependence on domestic sales.
A pioneering figure in the exportation of Argentinian wine, Susana has also served as a lifetime ambassador of Malbec, the most emblematic varietal of our country. His enormous success as a businesswoman has been recognized with many honors, such as the Entrepreneur of the Year award granted by the Asociación Argentina de Mujeres de Empresa, the Endeavor Entrepreneur and the High Impact Endeavor Entrepreneur awards of 2003 and 2006, and the 2019 BRAVO Lifetime Achievement granted by the Organización de las Américas.