Tag Archives: Torrontes

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.


Argentina’s Innovacion Torrontes-Pinot Grigio 2010 by Santa Julia


Santa Julia Innovacion Torrontes-Pinot Grigio  2010

I discovered this wine last year while shopping at Whole Foods Market.  Three things made it jump out at me;

The fact that it was a Torrontes blend. The price, on sale at $10.99. The size, it is packaged in; a 1 litre bottle instead of the usual 750ml or 1.5 litre.

Appreciating everything wine from Argentina I had not yet come across a Torrontes blend. I actually still have not seen any others but I admit I have not gone out of my way to search them out either. Over the last year we have taste tested various Torrontes and I must admit that for me it is a varietal that I am learning to appreciate. In other words not love at first pour.

The taste is different from any other wine I have ever had. I would describe it as having substantial minerality, some petrol flavoring but mostly the standout for me is honeysuckle and lychee both in taste and nose. As stated before; it is an acquired taste. One that I am actually coming to like which brings me back to the topic at hand the Innovacion blend.  The grapes are separately fermented in stainless steel,  then blended prior to bottling by this Zuccardi family owned vineyard.

This is a perfect match! So much so that I would easily consider having this stocked all the time as a “go to” white wine. The sweet factor of the Torrontes grape is nicely balanced with the acidity of the crisp Pinot Grigio. A perfect weekday wine, a great picnic wine and best yet a refreshing libation for the too soon approaching summer.  Combine all this with the agreeable price and 1 litre size and I would say you have a home run!  SALUD!

Online notes:

The aroma is typical Torrontes: grapefruit, tropical fruits, pineapple, with  floral notes. The flavor is grapefruit, pears, pineapple, a hint of vegetal.

This 90% Torrontes – 10% Pinot Grigio blend is made of 100% sustainably farmed grapes. The Torrontes is from Maipu vineyards, Mendoza and the Pinot Grigio is from Santa Rosa vineyards, Mendoza. The nose is complex and aromatic with notes of roses, orange peel and chamomile. There are also ripe fruit notes, such as peach and pear with notes of citrus. This wine has a soft and fresh entry, unctuous. It is elegant and balanced.