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Sunday, October 21, 2012

TORRONTES---the Next "In" Wine


Torrontes wine country near the Andes 

I’m just back from nearly two months in Europe and my focus has now turned to the upcoming Wine-Knows South American tour.  Today’s a warm day in San Diego and I’m opening a bottle of Torrontes from Argentina….the perfect wine after a tango, but in my case, the perfect wine for dinner after a long first day back in the office.

Torrontes is not grown in the U.S. so it was a pleasant surprise on my first trip to Argentina nearly ten years ago.  I’ve mentioned this white varietal several times in my BLOG, but I’ve never devoted an entire posting to it.  I’m long overdue as it’s a perfect dry wine.  We often serve it as an aperitif in our home…and, there are few wine lovers who leave without asking me to write down the name of the wine.  Furthermore, Argentina’s recent export statistics show that I’m not the only one in the States who is loving this varietal.

For years it was thought that Torrontes had been brought by Spaniards to Argentina, however, recent DNA evidence shows this is not true.  Research has shown that it is not related to its namesake in Spain, but is apparently a hybrid of Muscat, a wine that excels at beguiling, powerful aromas of flowers and white stone fruits…which gets me to my next point.

One of the big reasons I love Torrontes is its aromatics.  Put your nose in a glass and you’ll wonder why it’s not sold as a perfume rather than a wine.  Floral notes, along with with melon, orange citrus, peach and apricot are almost as seductive as a bottle of Chanel.  Moreover, the varietal has fairly good acidity (I can’t stand flabby wines), as well as a smooth texture and mouth-feel. 

The varietal is the new "in" wine.  The New York Times published last year a review of twenty Torrontes that their panel of wine experts had tasted.  Each time I visit a retail wine shop, I notice new producers of Torrontes.  Last month I attended the annual meeting of the Society of Wine Educators and what do you think the seminar speakers from Argentina were touting?   You guessed it...Torrontes. We’re heading to Argentina in March 2013 for the Southern Hemisphere’s harvest…guess what I’ll be drinking!

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