Unseasonably warm February and March weather this year has me turning earlier than normal to spring and summertime white wines. One of my favorites - an aromatic, floral, and often slightly sweet but fruity white - is Torrontes, from Argentina. I say "often slightly sweet" because Torrontes is also capable of being crisp and bone-dry. Most that I've tried offer good acidity, making them good candidates for pairing with foods.
But, maybe the best thing about Torrontes is the price
. Good Torrontes can be found for $10-$15 and I'd scoop some up before it becomes "this year's model" of the wine world. It's probably only a matter of time before the news about Torrontes get out and prices go up. In 2014, Wine Spectator
awarded Alamos an 89 point score - the magazine's highest ever for Torrontes - to Alamos Torrontes Salta 2013.
A good place to start is with Alamos Catena Torrontes
($10.99). Warm days and cool nights characterize the high elevation of the Salta winegrowing region of Argentina, where grapes have the chance to slowly reach maximum ripeness. The result is a wine that's a fruit salad on the tongue: peach and tangerine flavors to accompany orange blossom and jasmine aromas. Lest you think that sounds like a cloying, sweet wine, rest assured that it's actually quite crisp and acidic, aged in steel and racked off of heavy fermentation lees prior to bottling.
Although Alamos Catena Torrontes is one of the cheapest around, it's also one of my favorites - an exceptional value. It might sound like an odd pairing, but for a kick you should try this Torrontes with a terrine of foie gras de canard or your favorite pork belly recipe. The crisp acidity and floral flavors and aromas help balance the richness and fattiness of foie gras and pork belly or pork rillettes.