Garzon Balasto 2016
The 2016 Balasto is mostly a 45/25 blend of Tannat and Cabernet Franc with Petit Verdot and Marselan for the rest. It was aged for 20 months in second use, untoasted French foudres and comes in at 14.5% alcohol. This is not as big or as rich as the 2015, but it seems better balanced and more focused, if not quite as attention-getting. The restraint helps this along and makes it seem like a fine food wine. Granting that they were not tasted from the same bottle size (and are certainly not at the same stage of development), this seems to me to be slightly better than the 2015. Reasonable minds might differ. This was tasted from a half bottle, although the price references a full bottle.
Aromas of foxy berry fruits, wild bramble and tomato sauce lead to a palate that tips the scales in the direction of overweight. A palate with heat and sticky tannins tastes of gamy berry fruits, while this Bordeaux-style blend remains heavy on the finish, with an animal-like character. Tasted from a half bottle.
Dried raspberry and wild plum flavors lead to sanguine and hot stone notes midpalate. Cocoa powder details show on the finish. Tannat, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Marselan. Drink now through 2022. 1,150 cases made, 65 cases imported.