Torrontés is Argentina's most well-known white-wine grape. But its status among most Americans is still relatively obscure. Which is too bad because not only is it affordable but the wine offers fresh and aromatic notes, and an approchable body with ripe citrus flavors.
The majority of Torrontés wines come from six provinces in Argentina (including Mendoza) but you may also find a Chilean bottle, as the grapes are also grown in Chile, although in smaller quantities and mostly for producing Pisco. As the wine is youthful and fresh, ideal food pairings include seafood or chicken dishes, and cheeses that are categorized as mild or medium (hold the sharp Cheddar or blue cheese). Spicy foods with Thai roots would be a smart match too.
We recently sipped through a flight of Torrontés. We've got our four favorites after the jump.
Tilia 2009 Torrontés, Mendoza, Argentina ($11)
Complex, floral layers in this wine are interwoven with peach, apricot and rose-petal notes, before easing into a clean, crisp finish.
Dominio del Plata Winery 2009 Susana Balbo Late Harvest Torrontés, Mendoza, Argentina ($25)
Because this is a sweeter, richer wine, save this one for a dessert -- it's honeyed, silky qualities would pair well with a slice of peach pie.
Andeluna Cellars 2008 Torrontés, Mendoza, Argentina ($10)
Of the Torrontés here, this one is the brightest and contains the highest levels of acidity. Lime notes emerge on the back of the palate but even before that are delightful notes of grapefruit and apricot -- as well as subtle tropical-fruit notes laced with spices.
Dominio del Plata Winery 2010 Crios de Susana Balbo Torrontés, Mendoza, Argentina ($17)
Bright, nectarine notes and slight levels of acidity on this Torrontés awaken the palate. There are also complex floral layers on this wine.