A decade ago, torrontes from Argentina was going to be the next big white wine. It was cheap, it was fruity, and could be made off-dry. That meant it was sweet enough for people who didn’t like dry white wine but not so sweet that it offended the rest of us.
But that never happened. For one thing, there isn’t a whole lot of torrontes grown in Argentina, and producers haven’t planted more (I’m told there is actually some sort of vine shortage). For another, too many producers, faced with short supply and growing demand over the last decade, cut back on quality and raised prices. This might have made them some money, but didn’t do much for the wine’s reputation. I tasted some truly dreadful torrontes at a Two Wine Guys tasting last year – sugary sweet, dirty, and with very little varietal character. One even tasted like sauvignon blanc.
None of this is a problem with the Andeluna (about $10, available at Pogo’s). It has torrontes’ tell-tale apricot and peach aroma and flavors, and though it’s a bit odd in the middle, it’s one of the best $10 torrontes I’ve had in years. Drink this chilled on its own, or with summer salads, grilled chicken or Thai food. It’s dry, but there is enough fruit so it will stand up to spicy food.