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Mar 12, 2005 07:02 PM

What's like a 2003 Crios Torrontes from Argentina?

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I brought a bottle of wine back from Argentina (intended to drink there but didn’t get around to it). Turns out I really liked it--very lychee-y and flowery.

Would some of you wine-chow-wizards suggest some wines made here that are similar? My white wine knowledge is lame.

It was a 2003 Crios de Susana B. Vino Blanco Torrontes Cafayate.


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  1. You can buy the Crios Torrontes locally (San Francisco area), though the current release is 2004. About $14.

    Tasted blind, Torrontes often reminds me of Gewurztraminer and some believe that the grapes are related. You might like a DRY Gewurz.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Melanie Wong

      I think Gewurz from Italy's Trentino-Alto Adige region has especially similar aromatics. Moscato Giallo and Kerner from the same area are also worth a try.

      1. re: nja

        Can you recommend any Moscato Giallo? I have only had Bolognani, which I enjoyed very much. It had the distinct nose and flavor of pomelo.

        1. re: ericf

          On being presented with a glass of Torrontes in a blind tasting, my friend who imports the Bolognani wines commented that it smelled like new world Moscato Giallo, if there were such a thing. (g)

          1. re: Melanie Wong

            A tasting note that references a purely hypothetical wine for comparison is a very high level of tasting note indeed. :-)

          2. re: ericf

            That's the only one that I can recommend. Nice stuff, heh?

      2. eel, Check out a white Rioja called: "Lorinon".
        This one terrific wine, priced about $12.00==$14.00 a bottle. Rivals wines costing 3-5 times as much. Wonderful, complex flavor, great with seafood. It's distributed by Classical Wines of Seattle, but should be readily available through Whole Foods, etc.I've tried the Crios and find it a bargain too.

        1. I fell in love with the Norton Torrontes 2002 - which the local wine shop was selling for $7.99. I gave some away for Xmas presents. Drank several bottles myself (not all at once). Wonderful nose, flowery notes, but a clean smooth dry finish. Really can't say I've had another wine like it.


          2 Replies
          1. re: e.d.

            ed, what wine shop was that?

            1. re: ericf

              Old Town Wine Cellar, Yuma, AZ. But Norton is one of the most widely available Argentine brands. I haven't had a lot of experience with this varietal and didn't realize how many producers are making it until I read the other posts on this thread. I have no idea if Norton is better than others; I just know that I really liked the wine and the price. Now I'm eager to check out other Torrontes. It's amazing to me that I had never heard of this grape before last fall.


          2. Comparing the '04 Crios Torrontes (Cafayate)with the '03 Santa Julia Torrontes (Mendoza) tonight, side-by-side, I find the Crios much more fragrant and juicy in aroma. Besides the floral notes that they share, the Crios seems to me to have peachy or nectarine-y aroma and flavor. The Santa Julia is similarly fruity and acidic, but in a more muted way. I really liked the Santa Julia a lot early last summer. If I recall correctly it had melon and pear notes that right now I don't really notice. I wonder if the '03 is getting too old now, or if it's suffered from autumn in my apartment. Then again, I've read that the Torrontes from Cafayate is much better than the Torrontes from any of the other Argentine regions.

            One wine which reminds me a lot of the '04 Crios is the '03 Bodegas Lurton Pinot Gris. More honeysuckle than fruit, but otherwise very similar. They should be on the '04 release soon if not now.

            Lurton Pinot Gris $7 at K&L Wine, $6 at Solano Cellars
            Santa Julia (Familia Zuccardi) Torrontes '03 $6 at Solano Cellars.
            Crios Torrontes '04: $13 at BevMo

            I got turned on to Argentinian wines during my own vacation down there last year. If you didn't make it to Mendoza, I highly recommend it.

            1 Reply
            1. re: ericf

              Lurton makes a Torrontes as well, though I usually prefer the PG but it's nice for a change of pace. Both are best enjoyed young for the fullness of fruit and aroma.

              P.S. Lurton has a Berkeley-Chez Panisse connection so the wines are readily found in our area.