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2018 Crios Torrontes

a close up of a bottle of torrontes wine

February 1, 2022

To start off the new year, I thought I'd focus on Argentinian wines and the varietals that it is best known for.

In the world of white wine, Torrontés is native to Argentina.  This very aromatic grape is typically produced in a dry style, but the lively aroma can give it the impression that the wine will be sweet.  For this reason, many producers we came across in South America referred to it as a "liar wine," tricking your mind into thinking you are getting something sweet, but it turns out to be a delightful dry wine.

Our featured Torrontés is part of the Crios line from the Susana Balbo winery.  Susana Balbo herself presents a very inspirational story.  After gradating the equivalent to high school, she wanted to become a nuclear physicist.  Her parents felt that the school she would have attended was in a politically unstable area of Argentina at the time, so she opted to stay closer to home and study enology. In 1981 she became Argentina's first female enologist.

Her goal was to become a winemaker, but at the time in Argentina, winemaking was considered a profession for men.  She was hired; however, to study grapes, and specifically, Torrontés.  She figured out how to take grapes from different areas in Argentina to produce the best quality wine.  Susana is considered by many to be one of the world's foremost experts on the varietal.

As she was not able to become a winemaker at other wineries, she opened her own winery in 1999, where she and her children now produce some wonderful, high quality wines.

The Crios Torrontés is a product of her passion for the grape and wine.  Crios means "offspring" in Spanish and this line is dedicated to her children who today play a large role in the operation of the winery.

It has a beautiful floral aroma with a hint of citrus and pear.  On the palate this light to medium bodied wine offers a lot of complexity, with notes of pear, peach and lemon.  It is a playful wine that can be sipped or paired well with Chef Bruno Vergara's Ensalada Gaucha, Sanguche de Pollo, or Pan con Pescado.  I also enjoy it with our Victoriano Ceviche.

As we move to patio weather in the next few months, I welcome our guests to come and try a glass of this delightful wine.

Producer: Susana Balbo Wines

Vintage: 2018

Region: Cafayate and Uco Valley, Argentina

Grapes: Torrontés

Body: Light to Medium

Alcohol: 14%

Production: Hand harvested, aged on the lees

Awards: 91 Points, James Suckling

Why we included this on our list:  A wonderful example of an Argentinian Torrontes at a great price point.  It is produced by a legend in Argentina's winemaking world.