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Springtime in February: Torrontes from Argentina, a Breath of Fresh Air

A charming new grape variety from Argentina including tasting notes, food pairings and history.

Torrontes in America
Argentina's signature white variety, Torrontes is relatively new to this country. The good ones are fresh and snappy with  a lovely perfumed nose and good acidity which makes it appeal to dry Chenin Blanc and Viognier aficionados. I remember in the 1990s when it was an oddity here (I'd say it still is), a wine I suspect the Argentines kept for themselves but in the last decade imports of Torrontes have increased tenfold. Don't worry, Chardonnay has nothing to worry about, at under 300,000 cases a year it is still an oddity and a footnote in the annual wine stats but growing fast with a lot of brands on the market.  They are very good values, readily available and I really like the ABC factor. That is Anything But Chardonnay. I love a good Chard but I like to venture into unfamiliar territory even more, sometimes.


Torrontes in Argentina
Torrontes is genuinely Argentine, not coopted from France like Malbec.  It is a hybrid of the Muscat de Alexandria and the white Mission grape. The muscat parentage is apparent in that lovely aroma. One of our more reliable wine consultants related to us that Susana (Rocky) Balbo who makes lovely Torrontes, spearheaded the surge of Torrontes as a dry table wine. Pre-Susana Torontes was traditionally used in sweet dessert wines, and she does make a beautiful late harvest Torrontes dessert.

Torrontes and food
Treat Torrontes like dry Chenin Blanc or Viognier. Good dry Chenin, such as a high quality Vouvray is delicate yet has  a good lengthy finish and wonderful aromatics.  It is great on it own as an aperitif but don't overlook its food compatability, especially seafood, shellfish in white sauces are very good. Also the aromas, low alcohol acidity and impression of sweetness makes it go with the spice and heat of Indian and Thai dishes. For a good list of potential food pairings goto http://www.sauvion.com/english.htm and hover over the "recipes" tab on the navigation.


Mora's Torrontes Stable:
Bodega Colome Torrontes 2010
89 Points - Wine Enthusiast, May 2011

Crios de Susana Balbo Torrontes 2010
90 Points - International Wine Cellar, January/February 2011
91 Points - Wine Advocate, December 2010

Goulart Torrontes Mendoza 2010 BEST BUY
90 Points - International Wine Cellar, March 2011

Urban Torrontes 2009 BEST BUY and coolest labels
Rating and review for 2008 vintage:
89 Points - Wine Advocate, August 2009

and last but not least the dessert version, really delicious
Susana Balbo Late Harvest Torrontes 2009 500mL
90 Points - International Wine Cellar, January/February 2011
90 Points - Wine Advocate, December 2010

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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