The wine: Susanna Balbo’s Zohar Torrontes, 2009
Where’s it from? Salta, Argentina
Where to buy it: http://www.winediscoveries.co.uk
What it will set you back: £10.99
How boozy is it? 13%
What’s it like?
Fairly obscure Argentinean white wines aren’t generally top of my shopping list – but this is too special not to share, and a real bargain for the £11 price.
I got the opportunity to try this at a “dinner with the winemaker” hosted at the brilliant Casa Malevo on Connaught Street, an Argie steak place with a brilliant and wine-loving management team.
It’s from Salta, in the north of Argentina, and made by the charismatic female Argentinean wine-maker Susanna Balbo. We got to try four of Susanna’s very different wines throughout the evening, a rose, a typical big red Malbec, a sweet red and this one, the Torrontes.
Susanna is a real wine-girl inspiration – she’s Argentina’s most famous and successful female wine-maker, working in a wine world that’s still very male-dominated, without being from a wine-making family.
She started her career making Torrontes, which was in those days a very unpopular grape that was looked down on by wine-makers and drinkers, and is one of the driving forces behind its relative popularity now. She makes a huge variety of different wines, including her “premium wine”, Nosotros, and has started a family tradition of winemaking as her kids follow her into the business.
This Torrontes is gorgeous – it tastes like peaches and smells a bit like Turkish delight, so it can handle being pared with big flavours and would go brilliantly with any kind of spicy food, like Thai or curry – similar to a Gewurztraminer in this respect. Serve ice-cold for a perfect, summery white wine experience! You could definitely drink it on its own, but be careful: it packs quite a punch at 13%. If you’re a spritzer-lover, this would be fine with a little sparkling water added as it has such a big flavour.
Torrontes may not be in heavy rotation in terms of your current drinking, but this really is a great wine and would be a great change from Sauvignon Blanc – and the wine-maker Susanna definitely deserves your support for her take no prisoners attitude and passion for wine alone.
Hope you enjoy it – and thanks for reading,