THE BLOG
12/17/2012 01:19 pm ET | Updated Feb 16, 2013

Argentina Offers More Than Malbec

When you think Argentina wines, you typically tend to gravitate towards Malbec. Argentina is famous for their different varieties of Malbec wines and they are exceptional. I was privileged in attending a "Wines of Argentina" event recently held at the Consulate of Argentina. A massive tasting of hand-selected wines for the event were available for guests to sample while indulging in bite-sized tastings of classic Argentinian foods. I of course tried each Malbec, but was quickly surprised to have been completely fascinated with a white wine.

Torrontes, which is referred to as the white wine of Argentina, is cultivated in the Argentine provinces of Catamarca, La Roja, Mendoza, Salta, San Juan and Rio Negro. The Torrontes wine made with this white grape is considered the best of its kind in the world. Torrontes is the most distinctive of all Argentine wines, including both white and red, because Argentina is the only country to produce it. It is considered a wholly Argentine variety. The end result after cultivation tends to have floral and citrus scents, but has a distinct, dry structure and acidity along with the captivating fruit flavors.

My favorite from the lot from the event had to be hands down the Finca el Origen, Reserva Torrontes 2011.

2012-12-14-ReservaTorrontes.jpg

Variety: 100 percent Torrontes Riojano
Winemaker: Gonzalo Bertelsen
Vintage: 2011
Sight: Pale yellow color with greenish hues.
Nose: Its complex aromatic expression makes it an intense and attractive wine. In the nose there is a balance between floral and fruity aromas, standing out rose petals, lavender, orange peel and pineapple.
Mouth: In the mouth, it shows a sweet entry with balanced acidity that grants it great freshness.
Pairings: Excellent as aperitif or to match starters, salads, cold meats, seafood, Asian food and spicy foods.

Of course, I couldn't leave out the exquisite reds that were present in the room and the 2010 Cabernet that I discovered by Septima completely floored me with its taste of cherry. It was unlike any other Cabernet that I had tried. It's complex and spicy with heavy notes of red fruit compote and a hint of red pepper, complemented by aromas for the barrel such as vanilla and coffee. Bodega Septima, a winery located in Mendoza was founded in 1999 and produces authentic wines that are modern with a nod of tradition.

2012-12-14-SeptNL_Cab_NV_HR.jpg

Argentina is famous for its dance, food and wine. Winemakers in each region produce only high quality product and when selecting Argentine wine, there really is no wrong choice. So next time you are shopping for your wine and want to try something new, be sure to pick up your Malbec and toss in something new as well.