Argentina > Salta > Terrazas de los Andes Torrontés Reserva

Terrazas de los Andes Torrontés Reserva

Country: Argentina
Region: Salta
Producer: Terrazas de los Andes
Grape variety: Torrontés
Vintage: 2010
Found at: Co-op Wines & Spirits, Willow Park Wines and Spirits  (or see Liquor Connect and enter your postal code)
Price: $14.49 – $15.49

About the region: Despite being the fifth largest wine-producing country in the world and a history in winemaking that stretches back approximately 450 years, Argentina is one of the most recent additions to the international world of wine. Until the mid 1990’s, virtually all its wine was consumed domestically. Before then, we were missing out on Argentina’s fabulous Malbec, Bonarda, and the grape variety covered here, Torrontés. Much of this was due to Argentina’s political instability, so since that has improved considerably over the past couple of decades, Argentina’s export market and foreign investment has exploded.

Similar to how Alberta lies in the “rain shadow” of the Rocky Mountains, Argentina lies in the “rain shadow” of the Andes. Much of Argentina is therefore extremely hot and dry. The key to successful grape growing in Argentina is therefore altitude: most vineyards lie between 2,000 and 4,600 feet in altitude, which ensures that the grapes experience sufficiently cool nights to develop the desired color and taste. In the Salta region in Northern Argentina, vineyards are planted at over 6,500 feet above sea level, which allows for sufficiently cool sites to exist in a location not too far from the equator and which makes it the world’s highest vineyard area. Due its extreme altitude (and consequently, extreme climate), this region has the potential to produce wines of great purity and concentration.

The combination of dry, sunny conditions and low labour costs allow for wineries to grow large quantities of ripe, healthy fruit at a low cost, which translates into great value for us as the consumer.

About the wine: French producer Moët & Chandon was one of the first foreign firms to spot Argentina’s potential, so they set up shop in Mendoza in the 1950s to produce a sparkling wine. Due its success and as the political climate improved, they launched the Terrazas brand in 1999 to start producing still wines. Vineyard selection and strict quality control in the vineyard as well as the winery ensured that those became an instant hit.

Their Torrontés Reserva is grown at an elevation of 5,900 feet. That’s 1,400 feet above Banff’s elevation (at 4,500 feet)! It is unoaked, which implies that fruit flavours dominate, making this an ideal wine for a (yet-to-come) summer day. It’s showing floral notes, which is characteristic for Torrontés. There’s also some melon and canned asparagus, supported by solid acidity. The finish lingers quite nicely.

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