Torrontés is a cool little grape found almost exclusively in Argentina (small production in Chile, and also in Spain, where it’s doubtful it’s even the same grape.) It’s a cross between Muscat and Criolla, and can be a true thing of beauty when done well. Argentina has started to pick up on how lovely it is, and that this grape can be an ace in the hole for them just as much as the much-vaulted Malbec.
Torrontés makes a light, aromatic white, likened to Gewurztraminer or Viognier. It has bright acidity, though, and is less viscous in the mouth: all the flowers, none of the oil. You’ll often notice the following notes…
1. White flowers (jasmine, honeysuckle)
2. Soap or lanolin
3. Peach/apricot /nectarine
4. Orange citrus
5. Sometimes: spice (I have noticed anise, one friend said nutmeg)
This is another wine to pair perfectly with spicy Asian cuisine. I’ve enjoyed it with Chinese curry and Thai Tom Yum soup to great effect. The best (most aromatic) Torrontés are considered to be from the La Rioja region. I recently compared two different Torrontés, neither from La Rioja, unfortunately, though I keep looking for one. Reviews in the next post.