Light and Refreshing- 2011 Grazioso Organic Torrontes

Every time I sip a Torrontes, I wonder why I don’t have a case of it around at all times.  Generally a melody of wonderful, refreshing flavors, I can see why it is gaining popularity in the US.  The Torrontes grape is the most widely planted white grape in Argentina and it thrives in Mendoza’s warm days and cool nights.  Last weekend, I uncorked a bottle of 2011 Grazioso Organic Torrontes and it was the perfect wine for the warm afternoon I was enjoying.

About the Wine- From the Winery

2011 Grazioso Organic Torrontes is 100% Torrontes from the Mendoza region of Argentina.  It has 13.5% alcohol and retails for $9.99.  For more information visit www.marquee.com

Now the Fun Part- Tasting the Wine

Grazioso’s Torrontes pours a pale straw color in the glass.  I was intrigued by its tropical nose full of aromas of sweet melon, lychee, and citrus fruits.  The palate was light and fruity with bright flavors of pineapple, tangy lemon, and peach.  An overall enjoyable wine and great value that will take your palate to a warm paradise with its tropical fruit melody. 

My Wine Rating- B

Food Pairing Suggestions- Pairs nicely with goat’s milk brie, a seafood salad, or mahi mahi with mango salsa

*This wine was sent to me as a media sample

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A Perfectly Paired Wine Lunch Hosted by Santa Julia Winery

This week I had the incredible opportunity to enjoy a wonderful lunch put on by Santa Julia Winery.  If you read my blog, you probably have noticed a few entries featuring Santa Julia’s wines.  They are one of my absolute favorite lines of wine priced under $20.

The lunch was held at the beautiful Rivera restaurant in downtown Los Angeles.  When we arrived (I was joined by my husband Brandon), we were greeted by Julia Zuccardi, the namesake of Santa Julia, who flew in from Argentina along with the chef from the winery’s restaurant, Ana Rodriguez Armisen.  We were taken on a journey through Santa Julia’s wines and each was perfectly paired with a delicious Argentinean dish prepared by Chef Ana and the staff of Rivera.

During the appetizer reception, Chef Ana gave us a demonstration of how to make her signature Chimichurri sauce.  We were also served a tasting of their estate grown olive oils and meat empanadas.

One of the stand out wines served with the appetizers was the Santa Julia Brut Rosé NV.  It is light with notes of strawberries and cherries and is super food-friendly.  For only $13, it is a perfect apéritif.  We were also served Organica Chardonnay (review here http://wp.me/p1vdhr-g8) and the [+] Malbec…all of which I enjoyed.

We were then seated and served a first course featuring a shrimp and watermelon mojito salad paired with Santa Julia [+] Torrontes.  You can find this review on my blog at http://wp.me/p1vdhr-ej.  Torrontes is fast becoming a staple in my home and Santa Julia’s is one the best you will find for the price.

Our main course was a grilled lamb with crispy smashed potatoes, a malbec reduction, and a warming salsa criolla. 

The course was delicious and it was also paired with my favorite wine from the Santa Julia line; Santa Julia Malbec Reserva 2010.  The wine is rich with layers of ripe, dark fruit, tobacco, and vanilla.  It paired nicely with the lamb and is an incredible value for $12.

The final course of the day was a rich chocolate torte with drunken pineapple.  The torte was paired with Santa Julia Tardio 2009 (a late harvest Torrontes) which honestly exceeded my expectations.  The perfectly balanced dessert wine has an aromatic nose with notes of citrus and peach and tastes of pear, honey, and pineapple.  A nice dose of acidity elevates the wine in the finish.

Everything about our lunch was lovely.  I had great conversation with both Julia and Ana and learned a lot about the family values and sustainable farming practices that have come to make Santa Julia so successful.  I also was reminded with each course how wonderful and well-priced each of Santa Julia’s wines are.  I definitely recommend that you give at least one or two of their wines a try.  They can be found at Whole Foods and you can also get more information at www.santajulia.com.ar.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

*This experience was provided by Santa Julia Winery, Winesellers Ltd, and Folsom and Associates.  The opinions contained are my own.

 

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A White Wine That Won’t Leave You Bored- Santa Julia [+] Torrontes 2010

Continuing my exploration of Santa Julia’s new sustainable label [+], I opened a bottle of their 2010 Torrontes.  Torrontes is often refered to as the white wine of Argentina.  It’s not a wine that I drink often (this will be changing), but when I do I am always reminded of the vibrant aromas and flavors characteristic of the varietal.  If you haven’t heard much about Torrontes, I am guessing that will change over the next few years as it seems to be garnering a lot more attention with American wine lovers.  Santa Julia’s Torrontes is a great example of why there is all this new buzz about Argentina’s wine with a big personality.

About the Wine- From the Winery

Santa Julia [+] Torrontes 2010 is 100% Torrontes sustainably grown in the Mendoza region of Argentina.  It has 13.8% alcohol and retails for $10.  For more information see www.SantaJulia.com.ar or the importer at www.winesellersltd.com

Now The Fun Part- Tasting the Wine

The Santa Julia pours a pale white gold in the glass.  It has a powerfully aromatic nose filled with notes of grapefruit, rose, and peach.  The wine is light-bodied and refreshing with vibrant tastes of grapefruit, orange, pear, and ginger and a lively acidity that keeps your taste buds alert.  The wine has a long finish and the notes of grapefruit and ginger linger on with a hint of bitterness (similar to the bitterness from an orange peel).  If you are looking for a monotone, buttery white wine, skip this bottle…but if you want a refreshing white that won’t leave your mouth bored, grab a glass of Santa Julia [+] Torrontes and prepare to have your palate stimulated.  Cheers!

My Wine Rating- B+

Food Pairing Suggestions- Try this wine with Asian dishes, grilled Mahi Mahi, or a summer salad

*This wine was provided to me as a sample for the purpose of review

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