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Torrontés: The taste of lazy days and sunshine

If you like crisp, floral refreshing white wines, Torrontés could be your next summer fling.

Following up to last week’s nostalgia filled review of Malbec, I wanted to continue my journey through Argentina and focus on something lighter this week. A “great white” may bring to mind a terrifying sea creature to some, but for wine lovers it has a whole other meaning. This week I am drinking Torrontés, one of my favorite finds from that trip…in addition to the butter soft leather knee high boots and the vintage marble rosary beads…and the Evita-like leopard kimono and the mohair fringed throw for my couch…what can I say, Argentina is a shopper’s paradise so be sure to leave extra room in your suitcase when you visit…

Torrontés is a white grape indigenous to Argentina, and styles can vary depending on specific regions within Argentina and producers. My pick is a 2010 Michel Torino Cuma Torrontés made from certified organic grapes. This producer grows the Torrontés grape at extremely high altitudes in the Cafayate Valley of Argentina. The altitude, extended periods of sunshine, and limited use of chemicals both in the vineyard and the winery all contribute to the character of this wine.

The color alone evokes a sunny day and I am immediately transported to a day that was lazily spent people watching in a small piazza and sunbathing next to a beautiful fountain. It is a light golden lemon hue. On the nose, it is extremely floral -- a very aromatic wine. A notable difference from an herbaceous Sauvignon Blanc. On the palette, it is very refreshing and displays a high acidity. Crisp and clean, it has been aged in stainless steel so there is no oak or toast flavors in this wine. You won’t get the creamy texture of a California Chardonnay here. It is well balanced, with plenty of citrus flavors-lemon, grapefruit. Tasting through the layers, I also get some stone fruit flavor like apricot and peach. The finish is medium to long.

At $16.50 I am impressed with the value of this wine. While I wouldn’t save it for a special occasion (it’s meant to be drunk young to enjoy the fresh floral & fruit flavors) I would definitely feel good about bringing this to my ladies night gatherings at my best friend’s house for a nice change. Thanks to a new gym membership, I’m on a health kick lately and craving all different kinds of seafood, so I’d love to pair this with a tuna ceviche or seared scallops. If you like crisp, floral refreshing white wines, Torrontés could be your next summer fling.

You can pick up the Michel Torino Cuma Torrontés 2010 at Downtown Cellars, a charming wine shop located at 55 Liberty Street, NYC with great weekly tastings and very helpful staff.

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