Torrontes, a white wine gem from Argentina

12 July 2010
AG Wines by

salta-map[1]Torrontes-based white wines are totally unique and offer an interesting change from your standard white options; best of all, these wines are really great values! We have pulled our review of wines from this grape variety directly from our soon-to-be-released AG Wine for Argentina upgrade. Torrontes is the only grape variety unique to Argentina (there is no connection with the Spanish grape variety of the same name; however, it is probably related to the Spanish muscat variety). This is a vastly under-rated variety and one of our favorites for great wine values, particularly given the quality improvements that have resulted from recent efforts to reduce yields, transition to optimized yeasts, and strictly control fermentation temperatures. While there are three different types of Torrontes, only the torrontes riojano (originally from the province of La Rioja) is suited for the production of fine wines. At its best, the torrontes riojana yields high acidity, exceptionally aromatic wines, with scents of roses, jasmine and geranium. Flavors include citrus, peach, and grapefruit, with an underlying spiciness. This variety will appeal to lovers of bold fruit wines such as viognier, as well as those that like the crisp acidity of sauvignon blanc.

The grape variety achieves its best results in the Catamarca, Salta, and La Rioja regions; the absolute best come from the Salta region’s (see map) Cafayate Valley. Versions from other parts of the country — especially Mendoza (where most torrontes is grown, often used for blending) — tend to be richer, fruiter versions that, while tasty, lack the requisite acidity levels. If you have not tried a torrontes yet, you are missing out on a great new wine experience!