Alta Vista Torrontes

Alta Vista Torrontes, Mendoza, 2004 $9 (find this wine)
The best white wine that I had on my recent trip to Argentina I had on the first day at Cabaña Las Lilas restaurant in the hip Puerto Madera area of Buenos Aires: Alta Vista Torrontes. And it kept popping up on the trip as I tasted it two more times (including at the winery with the 05) and loved it each time. “Aromatic” is a way that Torrontes frequently gets described but perfumed might be more accurate. White peach, honeysuckle blossom, perhaps even lychee conspire in an hugely rich and expressive aroma that is not for the faint of heart. The wine has crisp acidity and is totally dry (2g residual sugar) despite the vortex of aromas. While this wine is a little bit hard to find in the US, an able substitute is the Santa Julia Torrontes, which has wider availability (Whole Foods) can be found for as low as $6. Pair with Asian foods or try it as an aperitif. Either way, a torrent of flavor will be yours!

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5 Responses to “Alta Vista Torrontes”

  1. See if you can find the Don David Torrontes back home there. To mind pretty much the best we have to offer here. I’m also a big fan, just as sort of a daily table wine that I keep a few bottles of in the refrigerator, of the Etchart Privado Torrontes (they also make an excellent late harvest Torrontes Tardio).

  2. Thanks saltshaker for your views.

    I tasted the Don David Michel Torino Torrontes 2005 and it didn’t work for me. Although they used only 5 percent oak, I found that it masked the freshness, the zip of the unoaked versions. (Their chardonnay, by contrast, doesn’t see any oak) I told the winemaker that so we’ll see what influence I wield on future vintages. 😉

    Susana Balbo also makes a nice Torrontes that I’ve had in years gone by but I didn’t try it on this trip. Alta Vista Premium and Santa Julia are the best values that I tasted, both selling for under $10 in the US.

  3. Interesting, I don’t taste the oak on it, it just adds some nice weight to it.

    On the issue of pricing, I’m always amazed – the Don David is (or so I’ve been told) the most expensive Torrontes exported from Argentina and it hits the U.S. for an F.O.B. of, I believe it’s $4.80 per bottle now. From my view they all should be under $10!

  4. I assume you mean 4.80 pesos a bottle? With with importer, distributor, and retailer mark-ups a case that leaves the winery at $22 from Argentina can cost the consumer $100 in New York or California….

    Torrontes is stil unknown in the US so it is a good chance for consumers to take advantage of that “undiscovered” discount–even if it sells for a lot more than it does in Argentina!

  5. No, it’s F.O.B. US$4.80. With importer/distributor/retailer markups, yeah, really it is more than $10 – probably mid to high teens, but it shouldn’t end up ridiculously priced.


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