Dominio del Plata (Argentina) Crios de Susana Balbo Torrontés 2006
I've just completed a mammoth tasting of over 20 wines made from Argentina's Torrontés grape for a future article focusing on this unusual grape variety, and this one from winemaker Susana Balbo really stood out as a star of the bunch. Torrontés is a variety that has always had lovely aromatics, but the wines often failed to deliver on the palate. However, recent changes to viticulture and winemaking have started to show tremendous results, and finally the flavours and balance of the wines in the mouth are living up to the exotic promise of the nose. This, from fruit grown in the Cafayate Valley 600 miles north of Mendoza has a haunting, alluring nose, with a gentle suggestion of honey and spices, and a soft, peach down fruit quality. There's a hint of dried apricot, and a little lemony zest too. On the palate this is a beautifully tempered example of Torrontés, brimming with bright oranges and lemons fruit, with a lovely core of acidity but none of the harsher edges that sometimes show up with this variety. Gorgeous stuff, with a long finish showing hints of spice and lemon zest. The best example of Torrontés I've come across so far. £5.99 - £6.99, www.lasbodegas.co.uk, Majestic, Hedley Wright.