In NYC, you tend to do a lot of rooftop drinking in the summer. I know I’ve done my share, so I started thinking about wines made at high altitudes, and then I thought about the highest winemaking area in the world: Salta, Argentina. And what do they make there that’s great for summer sipping: Torrontes!
Torrontes is really citrusy and light to medium bodied. Usually you think of red Malbec when it comes to Argentina, but Torrontes is the great white grape from the country. Anyway, in northwestern Salta, most vineyards are planted about 5,500 feet above sea level (most European vineyards are rarely above 1,600 feet). This height produces grapes with higher acidity, making the wines more balanced. Grapefriend sampled a few for you to try out!
Michel Torino, Don David Reserve: citrusy, peachy too, lighter, $17.
Michel Torino, Don David Finca Primavera: apple and peach, with good mineral and acid on the finish, $25.
Ruca Malen Yauquen: orange citrus but very balanced with acidity, $13.
Terrazas: Full of orange blossom and yellow apple. Much less acid and full bodied, almost creamy. $20.
Tamari: This one was from La Rioja in Argentina, not Salta but I threw it in the mix for comparison. It was citrusy like the others and I still liked it, but it did seem to have much less fruit flavor in general, $15.
I also like how they give you these fun words on the back labels, like for passion. Que afición! (I learned the word afición in The Sun Also Rises and like to use it as much as possible. It’s when he’s talking about how Montoya is like the only real guy he knows and how awesome he is. Freaking love that book.)