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90+ point rated wines under $20















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2008 Bodega Sur de los Andes Torrontés*
surdelosandesT.jpg Region Price Purchased Drank
Mendoza, Argentina $14 K&L Wines 1/17/11
A water-white, lemon-colored wine with bright aromatics of lemon-lime, citrus blossom, apricot and hints of smarties candy. The palate is light-bodied with high acidity with flavors that mirror the nose with additional notes of grapefruit and orange on the fairly short finish. While well-made, refreshing and elegant, there's to much of a disconnect between the vibrancy of the nose and the lack of depth and persistance on the palate. I wanted more flavor for the price. Was a bit better with food, but not a wine that will convince people to drink more Torrontes.

2008 Catena Zapata Alamos Torrontes**
alamostorrontes.jpg Region Price Purchased Drank
Salta, Argentina $10 Whole Foods 9/25/09
A pale, lemon-colored wine with an aromatic nose of citrus, stone fruit, honeysuckle and hints of roses. The palate is light-bodied with bright acidity and flavors of lemon creme, lime, flowers and notes of herbs and peach on the refreshing and lingering finish. Drier than it's nose suggests with great balance. Not as deep and exciting as the Crios, but classy and well-crafted showing exactly what Torrentes is all about. A lovely wine for the price that shows better as it opens. Would buy again.

2008 Crios de Susana Balbo Torrontes***
Criostorrontes.jpg Region Price Purchased Drank
Salta, Argentina $16 BevMo 1/23/08
A water-white, lemon colored wine with bright aromatics of key lime, grapefruit, orange blossom and hints of rose. The wine is light-bodied, yet ripe and intense with stone and citrus fruits along with hints of white pear and flowers on the lush, yet crisp palate. More like the 06 than the 07, this wine needs a bit more time to fully unify its flavors. Was better the second day as the lime and flowers were more integrated into the wine and the stone fruit flavors more prevalent. Still a lovely, complex wine with the acidity keeping the ripeness in balance. Even the Man really liked it, which is rare for a white wine. Will definitely be getting another bottle.

2008 La Yunta Torrontés*
08layunta.jpg Region Price Purchased Drank
Famatina Valley, Argentina $10 Wine House 4/6/10
A pale, lemon-colored wine with a fairly muted nose for a torrontes with notes of citrus, flowers and vanilla. The palate is light-bodied, with medium acidity and a rather short finish. Lemon and apple are the dominent flavors along with hints of resin, melon and vanilla from a touch of French Oak ageing. I can only assume they were trying to class this wine up with the oak, but it completely threw off this wine for me. At their best torrentes are crisp, fruity, floral and refreshing. This was very one-dimensional, tasting mostly like alcoholic lemonade. It was better with food, but not by much.

2008 Mas Torrontés**
08Mastorrontes.jpg Region Price Purchased Drank
Cafayate, Argentina $8 Domaine LA 12/23/09
A pale, lemon-straw colored wine with bright aromas of orange blossom, green apple and citrus fruit. The palate is crisp and light-bodied with flavors of lemon creme, lime, apple and apricot along with floral notes on the moderate finish. While I enjoyed the wine, it was a bit disjointed, with the flavors sort of fighting rather than complementing each other. Perhaps a bit more time in the bottle will help unite them. A wine that has a lot going for it and shows what the varietal is all about. At the very least, it's an interesting white for the price, which is hard to come by.

2008 Michel Torino Cuma Torrontés**
08CumaTorrontes.jpg Region Price Purchased Drank
Cafayate, Argentina $12 Wine House 2/21/08
A water-white, straw colored wine with an aromatic nose of honeysuckle, stone and citrus fruit with a hint of roses and minerals. Smells exactly like this varietal should. The palate is light-bodied with crisp acidity and a refreshing medium-length finish along with flavors of lime, lemon, flowers, minerals and mere hints of peach. Didn't have the intensity or depth on the palate that I anticipated from the nose, but it's well-balanced and elegant for the price. If you want to know what this varietal is all about, this wine showcases the grape perfectly in a drier style than the nose suggests. A great aperitif wine as it really gets the mouth juices going. Produced from organic grapes.

2008 Notro Torrontés*
Notro_Torrontes.jpg Region Price Purchased Drank
Mendoza, Argentina $8 Cost Plus 6/20/10
A pale, straw-yellow colored wine with a bright nose of roses, citrus, green tea, ripe apple and honey. The palate is light-bodied with crisp acidity and not as vibrant as the nose suggests with flavors of lemon, lime, apple and honeysuckle on the short finish. While interesting and drinkable, especially for the price, the wine never quite comes together on the palate to form a cohesive flavor profile. It's just a bit all over the place with the acid and fruit fighting for prominence. Vines average 15-20 years of age and the wine is stainless steel fermented. At the very least it was light and refreshing, I just wanted to like it more. (13% abv)

2008 Tomero Torrontés**
tomerotorrontes.jpg Region Price Purchased Drank
Cafayate, Argentina $13 Wine House 6/6/10
A pale, lemon-colored wine with a bright nose of citrus blossom, stone fruit and a hint of lemon pledge. The palate is light-bodied with refreshing acidity with a steely elegance. More subtle than some versions, with flavors of orange blossom, grapefruit, tangerine and minerals, along with lemon creme on the medium finish. Definitely better as it warmed up a bit. Not the most complex torrontes on the market, but one that shows great varietal character and was easy to drink especially at the 13.4% abv.

2008 Valentin Bianchi Elsa Torrontés*
bianchielsa.jpg Region Price Purchased Drank
Mendoza, Argentina $8 K&L Wines 11/13/09
A pale, lemon-colored wine with bright aromas of lychee, green and stone fruit with an initial wiff of petrol that blew off quickly. The palate is ligt-bodied, round and well-balanced with flavors of ripe apple and apricots with notes of citrus and honey on the moderate finish. This is a pleasant wine, but it lacked the flavor punch suggested by the nose and had very little complexity compared to other versions. It just doesn't have enough going on to leave much of an impression despite being well-crafted. For those unfamiliar with the varietal, this would probably not induce them to buy more, however, for the price, it's a fine bottle for summer sipping or as a party aperitif.

2007 Crios de Susana Balbo Torrontes**
Criostorrontes.jpg Region Price Purchased Drank
Salta, Argentina $15 Woodland Hills Wine 10/10/08
What a difference a vintage makes. I purchase this wine year after year because I love the crisp, floral fruitiness of the varietal as made by Crios. The 07 is no exception, but it lacks the focus of the 06. The nose is strong with rose petals and honeysuckle aromas with minor touches of citrus and stone fruits once the flowers fade. The palate is light and crisp with honeysuckle, peach and ripe melon flavors along with some citrus and honey on the finish. There is perhaps too much going on here and once the floral characteristics blow off the wine seemed bland and green with a slight soapy component. I would give it time to integrate and will try it again. If anything it was intensely interesting.

2007 Bodegas Fantelli Torrontés*
07fantellitorrontes.jpg Region Price Purchased Drank
Mendoza, Argentina $8 Cost Plus 9/19/09
A pale, yellow-colored wine with an aromatic nose of citrus, honeyscukle, stone fruit and hints of sweet spice that don't really carry over onto the palate, which is light-bodied and creamy, yet a bit all over the place. The flavors are fairly muted with some citrus and minerality, but nothing like you'd expect from the nose which was lovely. Really muted and generic for a torrontes. Showed better as it warmed with some lemon and floral notes along with some white pepper showing through. While not offensive and certainly drinkable, there's nothing to recommend this wine except it's price. Faired better with food, though not enough to get another star. Just clumsily crafted. There are many better examples of this varietal out there for just a few dollars more. This won't be getting any better so drink it if you've got it.

2007 Zolo Torrontes**
zoloTorrontes.jpg Region Price Purchased Drank
Salta, Argentina $10 Cost Plus 2/4/09
A pale, lemon/green-colored wine with bright aromatics of lemon, tropical fruit, blossom and hints of herbs that all follow through on the light-bodied and crisp palate. An intensely flavored wine with a refreshing finish of apricot and a touch of minerality. Better when it was a bit warmer and held up to our spicy food. A nice wine for the price but nothing memorable. Shows what Torrontes is all about, though not the best one I've ever had. Ready to drink, but still vibrant enough to hold.

2006 Crios de Susana Balbo Torrontes***
Criostorrontes.jpg Region Price Purchased Drank
Salta, Argentina $15 BevMo 12/14/07
This is one of my favorite white wines and one that I purchase time and again. Torrontes is a grape only found in Argentina and they make some lovely wines with it. With aromas similar to Viognier, this wine is light-bodied with hints of peach pit, white pear, flowers, and orange citrus fruit on the nose and full of ripe tropical fruits on the lush, yet crisp palate. Though dry, the varietal is so fruity it lends an air of sweetness to the wine, which some people may not like. I'm not one of them. A great summer sipper that's flavorful and refreshing.




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**** Outstanding | *** Delicious | ** Enjoyable | * Drinkable
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