Say the name “Susana Balbo” to a Malbec obsessive and their ears are likely to perk with interest. Her contributions to making the Mendoza region of Argentina a global Malbec epicenter could fill a hardcover coffee table book. Her work under the BenMarco, and Crios lines as well as her eponymous label have received numerous awards over the decades. However, her company’s output isn’t just limited to big reds. Developed as a tribute to her two children, the Crios line narrows the aperture to the lighter side of wine than her other labels, although the Sustentia Cabernet Franc is one worthy of consideration the next time a Cab Franc sounds appealing. Crios also focuses more on community-minded projects, participating in numerous charitable organizations. Today we are uncorking Crios Sustentia Chardonnay, a low-calorie, low-alcohol (9%) offering.
This Chardonnay arrives in the glass with a gentle but inviting nose nicely wavering between notes of pear, pineapple, and lime zest, leading to a bright palate of green fruit and mild peach with vibrant acidity. Very approachable throughout, with a note of toasted coconut peering through to break up the fruit influence and add some dimension. The finish, while somewhat short, sees the peach and lime zest carrying onward before a slightly chalky note appears at the finish.
Low-calorie, low-alcohol, sensibly priced, and ready to drink now. A nice alternative for those not wanting to commit full bore into dry January but wishing to enjoy something light and easy after a rich and indulgent holiday season.
A- / $19 / susanabalbowines.com.ar