Haute Wines: Torrontes of Argentina

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This past week I had the pleasure of attending a luncheon celebrating the Santa Julia line of wines from the familia Zuccardi at Landmarc Time Warner Center in New York City. I was thrilled to enjoy food prepared by Landmarc’s chef Marc Murphy in collaboration with Ana Rodriguez Armisen of Santa Julia’s Casa Del Vistitante. I have been passionate about the food and wines of Argentina since making an amazing trip there a few years ago where I indulged in beef and, of course, tons of glorious Malbec. At the luncheon, Julia Zuccardi, the namesake of Santa Julia, introduced us to her families lovely wines that they have been making as a family for 40 years.

Though I expected to be singularly focused on my standby Argentinean favorite, Malbec, I was blown away by a wine perfect for the upcoming summer season, Torrontes. For those who are not familiar with this unique wine, Torrontes is the most widely planted white grape in Argentina and is a great pick for those who are fans of fuller-bodied white wines. It has stunning aromatics and a complex flavor profile of stone fruit and flowers. It is indigenous to Argentina and has in the last few years become more and more popular outside of its home market.

The Santa Julia Torrontes, 2010, grown in Mendoza, is an elegant wine that is both complex and refreshing. Like all Santa Julia wines, it is handcrafted from estate grown, hand picked fruit. Enticing aromas of herbs and peach lead to a palate that is bursting with ripe pears and ruby red grapefruit. It is perfect for your next summer picnic or party and is a great pairing for seafood, grilled chicken, salads with goat cheese, or even a spicy Thai curry. At our lunch the chef’s paired it with a salmon trio on cucumber.

Torrontes has been heralded as the “next big thing” in the white wine world for quite some time for good reason. It is a grape that not only produces amazing dry wines but also fantastic dessert wines as well. The Santa Julia Tardío, 2009, made from 85% Torrontes and 15% Viognier grapes from the Santa Rosa and Maipu vineyards Santa Julia is truly a revelation. It has a nose that is full of honey and ripe peaches and orange zest leading to a sweet and refreshing palate that is luscious and long lasting. I often find many desert wines overly sweet, but this wine is perfectly balanced and amazing both on its own, or paired with a fruit or white chocolate dessert. Marc Murphy of Landmarc created a nougat glace with raspberry and rose sauce that was a heavenly pairing.

Memorial Day Barbeques in the Hamptons and Nantucket will be here shortly and this wine is a perfect way to toast warm weather, great friends and of course a summer filled with good wine!

Click Here for more haute drinking from wine expert Tiffany Westlie.

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