Ever since we have visited here for the 1st time 10 years ago, Maria & I both love Torrontés. The thing though is that we have been pretty often disappointed by any bottles we tried since. Perhaps there is really "nothing like the first time"?
This flight however is showing 2 great wines and 2 wines that I would certainly qualify as disappointing. Perhaps there is a lesson we can learn from this tasting.
Bodega Amalaya Territorio Torrontés 2013
Finca La Florencia Torrontés 2014 (Franco will import this wine in Italy)
Fincas Patagonicas Zolo Torrontés 2010
Casa Del Rey Alta Vista Premium Torrontés 2011
Territorio and Alta Vista come from Salta and La Florencia and Zolo from Valle de Famatina in Rioja.
Both Territorio and La Florencia displayed a clear aromatic character with crisp acidity while the Alta Vista also displayed perfumed notes if more subdued, its acidity was fresh supporting the grape profile. All wines showed alcohol level at 13.5to 14% but each displayed a very different body with Territorio light, vibrant & etereal on the palate while La Florencia was fresh & supple but the other 2 were full-bodied with Alta Vista being the richest & most velvety at 14%.
Territorio and La Florencia were clearly floral with notes of orange blossom, rose petals, and jasmin. Territorio more mineral in character while La Florencia showing ripe fruit notes w/ aromas or tropical fruits and pineapple. Zolo was clearly oxidized with notes of caramel, nuts, and dried pineapple. This was confirmed by its pale gold color and round texture and short finish. Alta Vista showed its age with evolved fruit notes and a general sensation that they are all melting together in a jammy whole. All, except Zolo, showed tell-tale signs of muscaty & spicy aromas typical of the grape and supporting it nicely.
Clearly, none showed any infuence of oak or malo-lactic fermentation typical of the grape. However, they certainly showed different treatment in lees ageing, with Terriotorio showing the least in being so fresh, lean, and vibrant on the palate, while Alta Vista the most with much richness and being the fullest body of the 4.
In terms of style, Territorio and La Florencia were the lightest, the most vibrant and intense as well as most floral and defined in aromas. They were also the most pleasant to drink with Territorio the most delicate w/ a clean, perfumed & mineral finish. A lovely wine, and considering it is the cheapest of the 4, it offers tremendous value. La Florencia was riper but nicely balanced and beatufully integrated. More a food wine than Territorio being wonderfully perfumed & fruity all at once with a nice round and supple texture of very good proportion.
Zolo was oxidised, perhaps due to its synthetic cork, perhaps due to being the oldest of the 4. Nevertheless, it reinforced the point that Torrontés needs to be drank as young and fresh as possible and it really has a hard time to keep. Alta Vista also demonstrated this, even as it was with a cork and being 2011, it showed flattened aromas & low complexity. All flavours were melted together in a jammy sort of way and its finish had a certain bitterness that I am not sure was wanted from the outset. Perhaps it was from slightly sunburnt grapes or the 2 hours skin maceration before pressing? For the most expensive of the 4, by a wide margin, it was certainly a disappointment, its case in my opinion over stated by its position as "Premium".
An interesting tasting. It taught me that price is not a good indicator for Torrontés. Freshness and balance is. I personally much prefer a style that is vribrant and delicately perfumed than a big wine with too much concentration from extended ripening and lees ageing...