As far as Argentinean white wines go, Torrontes represents the essence of Argentina. Argentina is one of the only countries that produce this wine, alive with the vigor of fruit and the scent of flora.
Torrontés and Argentina
Sometimes known as Muscat d'Asti, legend places the origins of Torrontes somewhere in the Mediterranean, possibly Spain, although its actual birthplace is unknown. The regions of Salta and Mendoza are home to this varietal, and while Torrentes from Salta is considered by its aficionados as the best in the country, by volume Mendoza produces the largest amount and its offerings often take on the name within Mendoza where the grapes originate.
For example, Torrontes harvested from grapes in Riojana, near the Andes Mountains are designated Torrontes Riojana, while Torrontes produced in Sanjuanino area are known as Torrontes Sanjuanino. The grape of the Torrontes can often be found in Argentine homes, climbing the outdoor lattice or in the backyard garden. Finding pure plants can be an adventure, however, as many of the vines are a mixture. A recent increase in the popularity of Torrontes has boosted the amount of pure vines within the vineyards of Mendoza, indicating a great future for this wine as production multiplies.
Flavors and Aromatics
The Torrontes emits a specific fragrance of flowers and fruit, often rose and peach. With one taste, the sweetness of the Torrontes envelopes the tongue, leading to a clean and powerful conclusion. The golden hue of this wine is a reflection of the grape, which grows into a intermediate-sized globe that releases a fruity bouquet. Specific regions generate grapes of particular characteristics. For example, the Torrontes Riojano grape is larger and grows in relaxed bunches, somewhat different from the average Torrontes grape.
The citrus taste and hint of flower scent seems to be the ideal complement to poultry, and specifically chicken. As part of a seafood feast, Torrontes brings out the zest of freshwater fish, mussels, scallops, shrimp, and the tang of shellfish. Not only can Torrontes be paired with white foods, it also tends to transport the essence of spicy dishes to the tastebuds quickly.
The Mendoza region features several vineyards with production focused on Torrontes. The Luis Segundo Correas winery is owned by a family that has been part of the winemaking industry since 1860. This winery devotes 125 acres (51 hectares) to Torrontes-specific grapes, resulting in the excellent Valle Las Acequias Torrontes. The Bodega Norton vineyard is known not only as a winery but as a "home" for these grapes. A calm, familial production environment is just as important as the grapes themselves to the Lo Tengo Torrontes produced here.
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