2009 Finca La Linda Torrontes

2009 Finca La Linda TorrontesPrice: $10.99 @ Sample

What They Said:

Per Luigi Bosca “Clear yellow-greenish color. Floral aromas related to rose globeflower and some lavender. The first impression in mouth is sweet with balanced acidity, white peaches are perceived and hints of sugar coated orange skin. Excellent balance between floral and fruity characteristics.”

What I Think:

Many already know there is more to Argentina than Malbec. You can drink some fine Cabernet among other things but they also have two more local grapes that are worth exploring; Bonarda (the local favorite) or Torrontes. For those that may be new to Torrontes I most often compare it to Viognier given that both are very aromatic wines. When drinking either my nose spends a significant amount of time in the glass (and I again remind myself I need to expand my vocabulary beyond “floral”). That being said I am no expert on this varietal so when this sample arrived I was happy to give it a try. So how was it?

Pale straw in color. Fresh, floral (see above reminder) and inviting on the nose. The palate starts pure and clean but quickly becomes a bit heavy with a hint of sweetness. A rich, full-bodied wine this shows flavors of orange peels and white tropical fruits. The finish is slightly crisp with a dried flowers (lavender) and spices (white pepper). This one lacks the acidity I like for drinking on its own. I’d recommend pairing this one with food. Perhaps a pasta with a white cream sauce would be fitting.

Given the overall flavor profile of this one it is not well suited for my palate as I prefer my white with racy acidity. Despite that this is a nice wine and a perfect bottle to learn more about a varietal (slightly) off the beaten path. So how about you? Have you had a Torrontes before? If so let me know what you think or if you have any to recommend. If not, give this or another one a try and share your thoughts.

Rating: Pricey

*as indicated above this wine was indeed received as a press sample

2005 Amaicha Torrontes

Price: $1.99 @ Trader Joe’s imported by Goldschmidt Vineyards

What They Said:

Per quaffability “This is an odd wine that I found while searching in vain for an Argentinean Malbec suggested by a reader. I confess that I had never heard of the Torrontes varietal before tasting this wine, and, having knocked around the web looking for info for a few minutes, I think I know even less now then I did before. It’s either originally from Mavasia or native to Argentina. It might be a common Spanish varietal, or it might be a cross between the native American Mission grape and a variety of Muscat. Hmm… what’s a good synonym for “whatever”?

The nose offers very fruity flowery notes with lemon, lychee and grapefruit. In the mouth it’s also quite fruity, but with a suprising element of petroleum, turning quite dry on the lean finish.

This wine reminds me that tasting impressions can really vary by circumstance. Sampled before dinner one night, my wife and I both said “okay… interesting” but moved on to other things without any thought of grabbing the bottle for a refill. Too fruity, not quite appealing, and a little odd tasting. But a few nights later, after my wife had made the mistake of telling the guy at the Chinese take-out place that our food wasn’t spicy enough last time, the wine went down awfully good with a blistering order of chicken in garlic sauce.”

What I Think:

As mentioned with my initial Bonarda posting I remember these showing up at TJ’s sometime last year. At the time I grabbed one of each, this and the Bonarda. After having them both I ran to the store to find more of the red to no avail and put this one on my “do not drink” list as I can still recall it tasted almost like nothing.

Redux, once again I find them both but pass on the white. Then being overly impressed with the red I overcome my predisposition to ignoring the white. Sometime later with taco salad on the table this wine finds itself on our table. On the nose you get..nothing; no fruit, just barrel. This wine is very light leading me to think the alcohol percentage must be low. There is hints of citrus but mostly wood with grassy undertones. As there is no fruit there is certainly no sweetness. Makes me think outside the “wine” box. I pomder European type schnapps before settling on Vodka as there is little flavor here.

In my industry we always talk about the “aspirational” you. I can see where this wine is trying to go, it just never gets there. Given that it is $2 though it is worth a try, as long as this isn’t your only impression of Torrontes. Give this Zolo a try. While your at it find some Vinho Verde as well.

Rating: 12th Bottle

2006 Zolo Torrontes

Price: $9.99 @ Friend/Gift imported by Vino del Sol

What They Said:

Per BevMo “Bright and fragrant, the finely crafted ’05 Zolo Torrontes serves up lots of ripe fruit along with an excellent texture on the palate; long and lacy; great with Tex-Mex dishes.”

What I Think:

Some good friends are looking for wedding wines and brought this one over for dinner. When our first saw the label I wasn’t all that interested as my experience with Torrontes in the past had left much to be desired. Boy was I surprised! This was a really nice wine. A bit sweet in the mouth but it paired very well with the Swiss cheese they brought along. This might be able to fill the role of a Riesling or sweeter Gewurtz as well. I’ll definitely grab a bottle or two of this if I see it.

Rating: Buy It