In addition to Rosé, warm weather has me longing for white wines more and more often. One of the white varietals I reach for a lot in the summer in Torrontés. In case you’re unfamiliar it’s the signature white grape of Argentina. Over the last handful of years it’s starting to make serious inroads on US shelves, both in stores and in consumer’s homes. Its appealing nature, when well made, assures it won’t spend to long on your wine rack once you do get it home. I tasted quite a few examples of this grape over the last week; here are two that I found particularly appealing. First is the 2009 Elsa Torrontés from Valentin Bianchi. Grapes for this selection were sourced from the Dona Elsa Estate vineyards which sit about 760 meters above sea level. This selection is 100% Torrontés. Fermentation occurred over 10 days in temperature controlled stainless steel. 2,000 cases of this offering were imported and the suggested retail price is $8.99.
Hazelnut, orange and Golden Delicious apple aromas waft invitingly from the powerful nose of this 2009 Torrontés. Throughout the palate, citrus and tropical fruit flavors spar with each other for dominance. Ultimately they work together to form a tasty core of flavors. Towards the finish the fruit flavors take on a savory bite which leads to a solid quantity of spice as well. Firm acidity keeps things in balance here.
The second selection that stood out was the Trapiche 2009 Torrontés. This offering is also 100% Torrontés. Fermentation took place over 21 days at controlled temperatures in stainless steel. Fining and filtering followed prior to bottling. The suggested retail price for this wine is approximately $7.99.
Aromas of lychee fruit, hibiscus and apple are all part of the lovely and fresh nose of this wine. Lychee which plays a major role here continues through the palate where it’s joined by copious amounts of citrus and an underlying layer of tropical fruit flavors. Hints of honey as well as almond emerge on the finish along with white pepper and wisps of vanilla. This is a crisp, dry, mouthwatering wine.
Both of these wines are fine examples of Torrontés. Each of them is well priced for everyday drinking. Pair them with light summer fair, spicy food or drink them on their own. They’re fresh, lively and provide a lot of drinking pleasure for a very modest price.