Our winery of the month is a Mexican “casa” known for its premium quality wines made in Tijuana, Baja California, made with grapes from the region of Ensenada. It is a very small winery, with a production of 8000 – 10 000 cases a year from grapes harvested in the Guadalupe Valley, which at the moment is the most renowned wine region in the country. Despite the lack of regulations or DO legislations, the wine industry is becoming more and more refined and is now producing good quality wines that have been doing remarkably well at international contests and tastings. Casa Baloyán is one of the small boutique wineries known for its high quality production year by year.
Here at the Don Sanchez cellar, you can find Casa Baloyán Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon, Don Sirak Cabernet Sauvignon, Tres tintos red blend, Muscat and Duque de Lara Chardonnay. The Reserva is without a doubt the biggest wine, the 2010 vintage being now at a peak both in expression and balance, it presents intense currant aromas with subtle caramel, toast and a hint of smoke. The palate is velvety, bold and very persistent. A must-try if you enjoy big, ripe wines and would like a taste of premium boutique Mexican wine. Don Sirak is a different wine altogether, despite being labeled “Cabernet Sauvignon” it is actually blended with small percentages of Merlot and Syrah. The wine has ripe dark fruit, nutmeg and baking spices. On the palate this wine is very intense, with chunky tannins and a long finish. I’ve tried it with the Lamb Shank Mixiote and it pairs really well. The Duque de Lara is an oaked Chardonnay, with big body and good structure but without losing freshness. Excellent with our Baja Med Catch of the day.
Despite the booming phenomenon that Mexican wine has had over the last five years, there are still plenty of misconceptions about the quality and profiles of the wines, but it is a fact that both quality and consistency are improving in the majority of the well-established wineries. Baloyán is a firm example of this consistency and quality that will not disappoint, as I’ve introduced the wines to many a patron and, as long as it is adequate to his or her preferences, the wines never fall short of the expectations of the new wine drinkers and connoisseurs. They have a distinctive terroir profile to them, but they should not taste salty, as this is a fault.
I encourage you to try the wines and see for yourself, and you will probably discover something new and exciting, plus, you might get a break from drinking the same styles and regions over and over again, don’t forget that the world of wine is exactly that, a world waiting for you to explore and discover a very wide array of flavors and styles, which may as well be your next favorite option when you come back to Mexico. Don Sanchez is a great place to have a taste of this and other fantastic wines from all over the world. And, if you happen to come after 9 pm, we have a special offer on every wine by the bottle as it is our Wine O’Clock every night.