The pretense for sending out samples of the 2018 Crios vintage, at least from the PR folks who represent them, is a newly designed label. Funnily enough, I actually liked the old one – it was bold, unique, and always stood out on the shelf. Now that I’ve seen the new ones, however, those older efforts seem hopelessly dated. But I’ll miss not being able to pick it out from across the store.
Anyway, those reading this probably care more about the inside of the bottle than the outside. (At least I hope they do.) In that case, it is still important to know about Crios, the entry level brand from Susana Balbo, aka “the Queen of Argentinian Wine,” and one of the most well respected winemakers in the country. Though a big brand that’s widely available, Balbo’s oversight makes it trustworthy, especially when choices are limited.
Torrontes in particular is a tricky wine to shop for. There’s no universally accepted style, so its difficult to know what’s inside any given bottle. It could be super fruity or stinky and savory, and crisp and clean or downright flabby. But Crios, made by the most renowned Torrontes winemaker in South America — who essentially established it as a viable fine wine grape in the modern wine industry— is a go-to. In fact, if I was going to introduce the grape to someone who’d never tried it before, I’d try to find a bottle of this. It may not be the best one out there, but it is consistently balanced (which is most definitely not a guarantee with Torrontes) and affordable. This vintage is a little on the tutti-frutti side for my taste, but its still a solid effort.
The Crios Rosé of Malbec is another delicious choice, clean, fresh and incredibly easy to drink. Everything I am looking for with a rosé at this price point.
Personally I’m less enamored with the Crios reds, but they still offer everyday value.