Monday, August 16, 2010

Another New White Grape: Torrontés

Last week I had a new grape to help get me out of my white wine rut, and I'm continuing with another new white grape this week. Torrontés is grown in Argentina, and has been planted for a very long time. It may have been Spanish colonists who brought the grape to the area, and the grape itself has been shown through DNA testing to be a cross of Muscat Alexandria and the ubiquitous Mission grape. It produces wines that are similar in some respects to Viognier and Gewurztraminer.

The 2009 Bodega Catena Zapata Torrontés Alamos has the characteristic floral aromas and flavors of associated with the grape without the waxy, soapy notes that sometimes can creep in. (suggested retail, $13; available for $7-$12) It tastes fresh, but feels rather weighty in the mouth which makes it a good partner for richer seafood dishes, and the floral elements make it a good substitute for Gewurztraminer. Expect to first detect floral aromas (lemon blossom, white flowers, honeysuckle). These will give way to a palate of citrus (Meyer Lemon and lime), along with fuller flavors of melon and peach. The overall impression of the wine is dry, despite those fruit and flower elements. Good QPR.

We had the Torrontés with crab tostadas one night--a fast, easy pairing that brought out the best of both the food and the wine. The next night, it went with a chilled Indian tomato shorba--think Indian gazpacho, and you won't be far off--and some warm whole wheat naan. While the shorba was also excellent with the wine (which brought out the warm, spicy garam masala that was used in the soup), the crab tostadas were spectacular.

Full Disclosure: I received this wine as a sample.


Ruptured Spleen said...

Luigi Bosca's Finca La Linda Torrontes and Alta Vista Torrontes are VERY nice also.

Dr. Debs said...

Thanks so much for these suggestions. I'll look for them.