Monday, December 17, 2012

Wine, from Uruguay?!

Even in a Wino's world, there are some things that are new, even to us. That's the great thing about wine, there is always a new vintage, vineyard, region, winemaker, and blend to try. Today I had my most recent "new" moment... Pisano's "Rio de los Pajaros" Reserve 2011 Torrontes, from of all places, Uruguay!

I used to live in Argentina, right across the river from Uruguay, and I can't say I would ever imagine them growing wine grapes there, but a lot of things surprise me. According to the label between the vineyard is between 30' and 35' parallel, it has a tempered by an Atlantic climate, which would be well suited to the Torrontes grape, which has found a home in the cool, yet arid harsh upper altitudes of the Andes Mountains near Salta, Argentina.

On first impression I thought they mislabeled the grape varietal. All the reasons I love Torrontes (and others hate it) is because of the over the top perfumed, herbaceous, floral in-your-face characteristics. This wine has NONE of that. It is more like a cool climate Albarino or California Pinot Grigio. Upon tasting it, I was confronted with all acid, green apple, and citrus... again an Albarino or Pinot Grigio in Torrontes' clothing.

Upon further research, I find out the Pisanos (like many families in the Southern Cone) are Italian and follow old school Italian wine making (a-ha! Pinot Grigio makes sense).

Still, this is a very drinkable wine, if you know what you're getting. I was expecting a Graffigna or Balboa Torrontes, and was thus very disappointed. But as I drink I am pleased with its clean finish (yes, I am drinking it as I type), this may be a good "starter" Torrontes for the less perfume-y lovers.

Just know what you're getting. So far, I'm not going to search out "wines from Uruguay" for my next dinner party.

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