A Bit About Torrontes – A White Wine From Argentina

Information about Torrontes white wines

Bunch of Torrontes grapes

Torrontes is a crisp white wine, produced almost exclusively in Argentina. Typically, the bouquet of a Torrontes wine will be aromatic, showing floral notes, often with citrus characteristics. The palate is crisp, ranging in body from light to medium, and is considered to be high in acidity. Citrus and floral characteristics will translate to the palate, though the citrus is not as prominent as say, a Sauvignon Blanc. As with any wine, the bouquet and palate, or scent and taste,  will be different depending on where it is produced, how it is fermented, and how it is aged.  Torrontes wines are meant to be drank young, and are not typically purchased to age. Torrontes is said to be the signature white wine from Argentina. It pairs nicely with seafood, cheeses, Mexican food, Thai food, and chicken.

It’s not known how Torrontes arrived in Argentina, or how long ago. Once thought to be native to Argentina, there is a bit of speculation where the grape originated. Citations on Wikipedia state “the Torrontes grape has been recently linked, genetically, to the Malvasian grapes, which originates in the Eastern Mediterranean. It is speculated to have come from Spain, perhaps by missionaries”.  However, torrontes genetic profiling done in 2003 links it to Muscat of Alexandria, which originated in North Africa,and Criolla chica, or the Mission grape.  While I find it fascinating that the origin of the grape can not be nailed down, and the debate ranges in writings by many wine geeks, I think I’ll instead pop a cork, or unscrew a top, and tell you a little about the wines from first  hand experience.

Speaking of first hand experience, have you had a Torrontes recently? Or ever? If so, let me know what you had, and what you thought of it! Where did it come from, and would you recommend it to others?

Last updated by at .

  • Mike K.

    Your post inspired me to try 2 Torrontes today (full disclosure: I already had the bottles as samples & I work for these wines’importer) 09 “Maipe” made by Chakana winery and sourced from Salta – very aggressive Muscat aromas and flavors, in fact reminded me of Alsace dry Muscat, but with lighter body. The wine had very persistent and pleasing lime zest flavor, good acidity and was very refreshing. Also had 09 Marlena Torrontes sourced from La Rioja. Still very spicy, but less than the Maipe. It was fatter and richer than the Maipe with less obvious acid. The flavor profile had a nice Viognier-like peachiness to it. Both wines are about $10

  • Tina

    I had recently read about Torrontes somewhere else, got curious, and picked up a bottle a few weeks ago. Your blog post inspired me to finally open it and give it a try. What a pleasant surprise! I got some white peach and floral notes on the nose, and some pleasant minerality and acidity on the palate. Nothing earth-shattering, but great for the price! I can definitely see myself making this an every-day go-to white wine in my permanent repertoire! Goes great with salads and light seafood dishes. BTW, it was a 2009 La Vuelta Torrontes from Mendoza, Argentina, purchased for $9.

  • http://agoodtimewithwine.com Matt.mmwine

    Tina
    Thanks for the comment! I’ve had the La Vuelta Torrontes as part of a tasting event with the Wines of Argentina PR folks. Definitely a tasty bottle for $9. I’m excited to hear you found a new go-to white, and more excited that it’s a tad off the beaten path! Thanks for the compliment that i inspired you to try it!! I look forward to hearing more of your wine adventures!

    Cheers
    Matt

  • Margo Margolis

    Hello Matt, An outdoor wedding in the N.W. corner
    gave me my first Torrontes. So complex even with a bend- in -the- road of smoke. Trapiche. Now unable to find it locally I try others.
    La Yunta. Too simple. I have a chilled Trumpeter that I am saving for a
    taste comparison when I procure my first love.
    On a side note, The best Gewurtztraminer I have tasted is Pedroncelli’s. Best to you, Margo