Friday, June 26, 2009

2008 Downhill Torrontés

Torrontés? A year ago I'd never heard of it either. Apparently it's a white grape that's popular in Argentina and is supposedly the Next Big Thing. DNA research has concluded that it's a cross between Muscat of Alexandria and the old Mission grape, Listan Prieto - also known as Rose of Peru, or Criolla Chica in Argentina.

Although the label simply carries the California appellation, the fruit is sourced from a new vineyard called Silvaspoons in Lodi, where the owner is experimenting with various - mostly Iberian - grapes, including Alvarelhão, Verdejo, Tempranillo and Touriga Nacional.

I wanted something to go with an Indian curry I'd made and went for this, nicely chilled. The nose comes over beautifully; it's floral, fruity and spicy all at once, and it just flows out of the glass. But on the palate it seemed a bit of a let down; didn't seem to match up. There was some peach, lime and flowers, but it seemed pretty thin and insipid. Oh well, can't win them all.

But gradually a change became apparent. As the wine warmed up it seemed to take on weight and mouthfeel, and the flavours really started to intensify. It has elements of Viognier, Gewurztraminer and Sauvignon Blanc. It's still a fairly lightweight wine and could use a little more concentration; it will be interesting to see whet the vines produce as they get older and what else comes from this vineyard. 90 $16 Value


fa95008 said...

Warning: Winemaker Response!:

Dave, regarding the "light weight" of the Torrontes, I believe that is partly what the grape is all about. It is intended to be floral and fruity on the nose, and light and refreshing on the palate. And I love the 12% alcohol.

I'd love to hear more thoughts...