Torrontes…the new aromatic white to blind

As I study for the Master Sommelier exam, my husband endlessly challenges me with different wines to blind taste. It is humbling and demeaning in many ways, but I am constantly amazed by the beauty and magic of all things wine.

Last night, he gave me a ringer. A ringer is what we call a gimme. An easy one. An “if you don’t know it, you’re not ready for the test” wine.

It was white, it was unoaked, and it was so floral, all I could think was tea rose. It started with tea rose, ended with tea rose and everything tea rose was in between. It was beautiful. Beautiful in the way you think of that feminine perfume you love to wear or love to smell.

Before I even tasted the wine, I thought to myself, this is the prettiest Gewurztraminer I have ever smelled.

So, I tasted the wine. I tasted the wine and thought about how high the acid was for it to be Gewurztraminer. I thought about how moderate the alcohol level was. I thought about how balanced the wine was as a whole.
Without giving more thought to this gorgeous white wine, I told Stephen it had to be a German Gewurztraminer.

“Why?” he asked.

“Because the acidity is so high,” I confidently answered.

“It’s too high to be Gewurz,” he responded.

“It’s not Viognier.”

“No, it’s not.”

“Oh, Merd (French for Poop), is it Torrontes?”

“Why, yes, it is.”

O.K., I hope I didn’t lose all you readers who are thinking about what loser blind tasters talk about, but the point is, this wine rocked my world.

It was so delicious that words couldn’t find words to describe how awesome this wine was. The producer was Auka and the appellation was Mendoza in Argentina. The wine was laden with flowers, specifically tea rose, but it also had great kitchen spice notes as well as mango and papaya.

For those wine lovers who enjoy white wines and are always looking for other options, pick up a bottle of Torrontes from Argentina. Some favorite producers are Crios by Susanna Balbo, Tomero and Auka, of course. The wines are stellar, and they have so much to offer as pairings with food or as aperitifs.

Cheers to whites from Argentina…pretty is as pretty does.

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  • JC

    Kitchen spice notes? What do you mean?

  • Cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, allspice are examples of kitchen spice. In the Torrontes grape, I often find a spicy quality of dried mint and dried cilantro combined.

  • Yes! I had this exact reaction at an advanced study group! I was so floored I had to make sure it wasn’t just our group.