one torrontes, one malbec rose, and one malbec. better than i expected: i had planned for two argentine wines. i showed up and got three. one day, three wines from argentina. i’m one happy camper.
i walked into the wine shop looking to learn something new about the wines they were tasting tonight. i’ve had countless bottles of torrontes and even more bottles of malbec. i remember a few of my first nights out on the town in mendoza; 3am conversations on aristides and 6am cab rides home – made better because of a good bottela de vino. reds being a little too harsh for me at the time, i flocked to the lighters whites. i’ll never forget when the waiter at el palenque told us that the torrontes was the perfect wine.. ‘drink as much as you want and you won’t wake up with a headache’. so torrontes it was for the first few weeks. and then i moved towards the reds.. which turned out to be my go-to from about september of last year on.
tres locas lindas later, here’s what i learned-
first pour: loca linda torrontes from la rioja, argentina. this wonderful white, sold in a one liter bottle (to accomodate the extra friend that comes to the asado, the abuelita who insists on an extra glass, or the simple need for a glass to accompany the asado once it hits the table). loca linda’s torrontes is the perfect wine for a hot summer day – it’s light, crisp, and refreshing with a hint of honeysuckle and a good balance of acidity. the grapes are harvested earlier in the season to avoid over-sweetening. just like raspberries – tart early in the season, but sometimes overly sweet toward the end of the season, grapes too must be harvested at the perfect moment to make the perfect vino.
second pour: loca linda malbec rose from mendoza, argentina. i’ll admit, i’m always skeptical about rosés. something about the color i think. i can’t help but think of the franzia my parents used to keep in the downstairs fridge. but loca linda’s rose is no franzia. its takes the best of malbec and makes it better – a sweet, refreshing summer pink for the patio. and for the first time i understood why rosés have the pinkish color they do. it has to do with the amount of contact the wine has with the grape skins. while a malbec may have contact with the skins for days or weeks, a rose will only have contact with the skins for hours; possibly as little as 6 hours. so as hard as it is for me, i’m moving away from my initial thoughts about rosés. their just as powerful and tasty as a red, just a little less intimidating. something i think we all could learn to love.
third pour: sin ropa (made by loca linda) malbec. this malbec is ‘unclothed’ – unoaked (an uncommon trait amongst the malbecs of south america). oak is normally used to mask the imperfections in the grapes.. that means that these grapes used by loca linda are fabulous and don’t even need the oaking to make a good wine. the stainless steel fermentation masks some of the spiciness that is common amongst malbecs. although this definitely wasn’t the best malbec i’ve ever had.. i’d go back for another glass.
i’ve had a short trip back to mendoza and a rejuvenated excitement for wines from my favorite region. can’t wait to continue tasting.