25 Aug 2010

Trapiche Broquel Torrontes 2008 (£9.99, Laithwaites)

Torrontes is a quietly fashionable grape at the moment, and with good reason. Oaky, buttery New World Chardonnay fell out of favour; people started to get a bit weary of pincer-sharp Sauvignon Blanc; Pinot Grigio became ubiquitous but was often bland; so a void was left for a fresh and potentially complex white: step forward Torrontes.

There are actually three varieties of Torrontes, but the higher-end stuff tends to be made from Torrontes Riojano, and that's what's used in this wine. It's almost sherryish on the nose and on the palate it's certainly off-dry, almost Germanic in character, with notes of honey and candied lemon but with a purity of fruit and almost Champagne-esque clean edge that stops it from cloying. It contains 5% Sauvignon Blanc, which probably contributes a crisp acidity that balances out the richness nicely.

In terms of food and wine matching, it didn't work brilliantly with vegetables in black bean sauce. But it would surely complement other lightly spiced oriental cuisine, such as Thai green curry or coconut and chilli prawns. And it worked a treat with some trout fillets, lightly fried in olive oil with garlic and smoky bacon. Trapiche Broquel Torrontes would also make for an excellent pre-dinner drink to liven up the tastebuds.

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