Wine of the Week: Estancia Los Cardones, Anko, Torrontés 2019 | Salta, Argentina

By Dirk Smits

Torrontés | April 25, 2022

The Argentinian grape varietal Torrontés originated from the combination of Muscat of Alexandria and Criolla Chica. The Criolla Chica is none other than the formerly called “uva negra” in Cuyo and Chile, and “mission” in California or “negra corriente” in Peru. Early in the twentieth century, it started to be called “criolla chica” in Argentina and “uva pais” in Chile. The presence of this grape varietal in Argentina and Chile dates back to the first days of the Spanish conquest in the mid-sixteenth century, a fact not often contested. On the other hand, little is known about the earliest appearance of Muscat of Alexandria in the region.

Torrontés is one of the most widespread white wines and has achieved remarkable international recognition. It is found only in Argentina and is said to be the country’s signature white wine. There are three variants of Torrontés: Mendocino and Sanjuanino, which are lighter and fresher, and Riojano, which is the most cultivated and expresses the best qualities for the production of fine wines, very fruity and dry at the same time. Torrontés Riojano from the Cafayate Valley (Salta) particularly stands out in quality.

Its appearance is a light yellow that occasionally displays green hues. In the nose, it is characterized by its aromas of flowers such as rose, jasmine and geranium. Although its aromas anticipate a sweet wine, its flavor reveals dryness with fresh acidity.

The Estancia Los Cardones winery is located in Tolombón, province of Salta, the northernmost wine-growing area in the country; south of the city of Cafayate at 5,000 feet above sea level on the eastern slope of the Valles Calchaquíes. The winery, inaugurated at the beginning of 2017, was built entirely of stone obtained from the quarries at the property in order to blend in and reflect the unique characteristics of the surrounding Tolombón terroir: very shallow rocky soil with abundant chipped slate stone on the surface and filled in with disintegrated mica.

Origin: Salta, Argentina
Varietal: 100% Torrontés
Sustainability: sustainable organic
Suggested retail price: $15.00
ABV: 12.5%

The wine sports an intense yellow greenish color with a delicate nose of roses and citrus blossom. The palate is fresh and fruity with a lively acidity, good structure and a delicate finish.

Suggested food pairings: fish, seafood, regional dishes such as empañadas and locro (stew), spicy and well-seasoned dishes such as Thai, Indian, Chinese and Vietnamese.

> For more information, visit the Estancia Los Cardones official website.