One of the wines that is a staple at our wine tastings is the Carinae Torrontes. We love putting this wine at our wine tastings in Buenos Aires because it is always a pleasant surprise for people who are traveling through Buenos Aires or new to the city. Why is this?

Well first simply because it is Torrontes. I have been writing about Torrontes for years but it seems to still be a newcomer for most people. Interestingly Torrontes was recently compared to 3 other staple white wine varietals in a blind consumer tasting and beat all of them! It was put up against Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, and Chardonnay and yes, Torrontes won.  But the downside was that even though Torrontes was the clear winner among the 4 varietals tasted, only 18% of the participants in the blind wine tasting had ever heard of Torrontes. This is why we feel it is our duty to always have a Torrontes in our wine tastings.

Now why do we pick Carinae Torrontes? Well there are many different Torrontes to pick from and they are certainly not all equal. Others that we really like that we have worked with in the past are Mairena Torrontes, El Pouvenir de los Andes Torrontes, and yes, I will say it (because it is from a big winery I am reluctant) Colomé Torrontes. Carinae, however, we feel demonstrates the qualities of a great Torrontes from Salta.

There are 3 principle regions where good Torrontes is made: Salta in the extreme northwest of Argentina is considered to be the best due to is extremely high altitude. La Rioja, just a bit south of that still has great altitude but the Torrontes comes out a little less aromatic, and San Juan, which is just north of Mendoza, also makes decent Torrontes but the style is much lighter and more elegant.

The Carinae Torrontes demonstrates the extremely floral bouquet that is the desirable characteristic in Torrontes. Aromas like orange blossom, jasmin and honey are found… but then in the mouth it changes on you. This is why Torrontes is called the “liar’s grape” (“la uva mentirosa” in Spanish) because in the nose you have sweetness and flowers and in the mouth you have a dry expression with crisp acidity of apricot, peach and grapefruit.