Guadalupe Valley, northeast of Ensenada, Mexico, has become the foundation of Mexico’s Wine Growing Culture. And in the Guadalupe valley, there are now more than 60 Vineyards commercially producing Mexican Wines. One of the best of the Guadalupe Valley Vineyards is Baron Balch’e.
Balch’e began as a small family-owned vineyard, but rapidly grew into a producer of commercially viable wines. This came from the oversight of the Rios Family, beginning in 1997 with the purchase of existing vineyards in the northern section of Guadalupe Valley. The family, along with the addition of the eminent winemaker Dr. Victor Torres, began a replanting and re-generation of the older-growth wines on the property.
Baron Balch’e is now producing about 1000 cases of wine, primarily sold in the Mexican market. Like many of the Guadalupe Valley Winemakers, Balch’e is producing several very nice wines, but are limited in the ability to produce enough wines to penetrate the United States market. Balch’e is presently producing under three labels: Corner Baron, Baron Balch’e, and Balch’e Top Premium Line.
One of the best of the Balch’e products is the 2008 Tempranillo-Cabernet. This is a wonderful 50-50 blend of the grapes, which has been wooden-barrel aged for up to two years. The aging has brought out a very distinctive wine with the Tempranillo on the nose and palate in a very pleasing manner. (In Mexico, this blend falls under the name of Vino Tinto, you need to be specific as to which “Tinto” you request.)
On the nose a front of dark fruit is apparent. The tannins give a firm ending, creating a very pleasant start to finish experience. The wine is a pleasant 13.5% alcohol by volume, normal for this type of wine.
The best way to experience the Baron Balch’e brand is to visit the Guadalupe Valley. Bus tours are available from San Diego and from Ensenada. The many cruise ships visiting Ensenada always have a “Wine Country” experience. Or, if you are in town, you can hire a taxi to take you to the Wine Country for about $100.00 for a 6-7 hour tour. Balch'e Wines are found in almost all of Mexico's top dining establishments.
The 2008 Tempranillo Cabernet retails for about $40.00 US. This is pricey for a Mexican Wine, but in this case, the product is worth the price.
Have a winederful day!!!