Argentina’s 2011 PHEBUS – Are my tastes expanding or is this an excellent Torrontés?


2011 Phebus Torrontés

I recently came across this lovely wine during our Malbec and Other Sexy Wines of South America class at Total Wines and More.  Having recently written about the Torrontés varietal and in particular a Torrontés/Pinot Grigio blend, I continue to be on the lookout for a good example.

A month ago I was “learning to appreciate” this varietal. Well today, or better yet last night, I believe I am there. This particular wine spoke to me during our class  and luckily I purchased 2 bottles. Regularly priced $9.99 but class price of $7.99 may have had something to do with it. I am so glad I did. This has to be the most delicate Torrontés I have tasted to date. Gone is the usual and almost overpowering strength of Lychee on the nose and palate.

My research shows there are actually 3 different Torrontés grapes. The one being reviewed here is the Torrontes Riojano; accounting for 18% of total white wine grapes produced in Argentina.  These Mendoza vines in particular average 10 years of age, harvested manually March 5-10 with meticulous sorting performed by hand prior to vinification. Fermentation [with yeast] is done in stainless tanks at a controlled temperature of 15 degrees C, with skin maceration during 8 hours.

PHEBUS wines are crafted at Fabre Montmayou Bodega using state of the art wine-making techniques. Diane and Herve Joyaux have owned this estate since 1999.

Pale in color with a pleasant bouquet I detected aromas of peach, pear, melon, and some citrus. Smooth and acidic on the palate I noted; pear, peach, honeysuckle, with lemon and grapefruit on the lingering finish. I found the flavors to be appealing, abundant and harmonious.

On-line I have seen reviews calling this wine “above average nearly excellent” and “excellent”.  I would have to whole heartedly agree and once again mention what a great value this is. This is perfect for those who might want an introduction to the Torrontés grape and I would add lovers of Sauvignon Blanc.


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