Torrontes: The Cliff Notes

Those of you, for whatever reason have decided to dedicate an odd amount of time to the learning of wine, know by now that the more you learn, the less you know.

Torrontes is no different.  Its ancestors most likely came over from Spain in the form of raisins.  The seeds last longer that way.

There are three kinds of torrontes- mendocino, riojano and my favorite, sanjuanino.  Riojano is more often used for the nicer torrontes, but I disagree.  Sanjuanino was the variety that was pulled the most in the 80s during a lot of replantings due to its problems with ripening.  Torrontes in general, is a grape that is absolutely delicious as a grape, but is hard to uniformly ripen and is inordinately susceptible to weather.

The torrontes mendocino originates somehow from Moscatel de Alexandria.

The torrontes riojano and sanjuanino are born also from Moscatel de Alexandria, crossed with criolla chica.

These torrontes were often planted together and are often vinified together, so unless you go through a vineyard and taste the grapes themselves, it is hard to know which torrontes you like the best.

Descriptors for torrontes have included the following: rose aroma, peach, orange, pineapple, kiwi, cocoanut, honey, lemon, citrus zest, chamomile, white peach, star fruit, tangerine.

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One thought on “Torrontes: The Cliff Notes

  1. “…the more you learn, the less you know.” I was thinking about this the other day while talking to a student who was having some anxieties about feeling as though he didn’t yet know enough about his area of expertise. My reply was, how depressing would it be if you actually _had_ learned everything you might possibly know about your body of interests? You’d never have any new discoveries to make. Although my knowledge is very much the amateur’s when it comes to wine, I suspect the same is true there too.

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