On the one hand the aromas of Torrontés are reminiscent of Gewürztraminer or Muscat; on the other hand, the texture and flavor are reminiscent of Sauvignon Blanc. Torrontés needs to be served well-chilled and protected from oxygen — too much warmth and/or too much exposure to oxygen will quickly eliminate its characteristic aromas. Torrontés is also best young because its flavors and aromas don't survive forever in the bottle.
You can get Torrontés wines from other regions, like New Zealand, but Argentinian Torrontés is the place to start. The word torrontés is Spanish for "torrent," a very appropriate label considering its potent flavors and aromas. According to marketing researchers, the primary consumes of Torrontes today are young female wine drinkers.
Varieties of Torrontes
- Torrontés Riojano (the most common)
- Torrontés Sanjuanino
- Torrontés Mendocino
Origins of Torrontés
The Torrontés grape is believed by some to have come originally from Galicia in northern Spain; others argue that it is a cross between Muscat of Alexandra and Criolla. DNA research indicates that today's Argentine Torrontés originated in the Eastern Mediterranian and is related to the Madiera wine grapes. Whatever its origins, the Torrontés grape is today effectively native to Argentina and has existed there for a very long time — probably brought in by Spanish missionaries. Torrontés Mendocino is probably not related to the other two Torrontés varieties.
Torrontes Producers to Watch For
- Santa Julia
- La Nature.