Appellation: Alta Mesa
Alcohol by volume: 13.32%
T.A.: 0.60 (g/100ml)
Malic Acid: 192 mg/100ml
Bottling Date: January 16, 2012
In the Vineyard
Torrontes is a rare Vitis vinifera grape variety which may have developed in the New World. The crisp, fragrant white wines produced from Torrontes in Argentina have gained international popularity. There remains much confusion as to the origin of Torrontes because the grape called Torrontes in Spain is not the same as the grape grown in South America. Making matters more confusing, there are three related but different grapes known as Torrontes grown in Argentina. The precise origin of the Torrontes grape may not ever be proven, but genetic research indicates Torrontes is the result of a chance crossing of two traditional old world grape varieties. Laboratory simple sequence D.N.A. testing indicates Torrontes is a cross of Criolla Chica (also referred to as Mission grape in California) and Muscat Alexandria. These varieties were often transported by Catholic missionaries to the New World and were frequently planted in church vineyards. Jesuit missionaries were the first to plant commercial vineyards in Santiago del Estreno in Argentina in 1557, however it is not known definitively when and where this grape variety originated. Our 2011 Torrontes comes from Silvaspoons Vineyards, located in the Alta Mesa appellation within California’s delta region of Lodi. Ron Silva, owner and operator of Silvaspoons Vineyards, is a progressive winegrower and takes pride in his extensive plantings of rare grape varieties. Ken Volk’s first opportunity to work with this fruit source was in 2011. Aware that Torrontes shares some of the characteristics of Malvasia Bianca (both having Muscat Alexandria as one of their parents) Ken was anxious to work with the variety. The fruit was hand-harvested and field-sorted into half ton macro bins in the early morning on September 16th. The bins were then transported to the winery in a refrigerated, insulated truck trailer.
At the Winery
Upon arrival at the winery the cold fruit was whole-cluster pressed in our Puleo bladder press. A modified champagne press cycle technique was utilized for pressing the Torrontes during which the press cage is seldom rotated and the bladder inflation pressures kept low. This technique does not provide for high yields but it does minimize the extraction of bitter compounds from the grapes’ skins, stems and seeds as well as low solids in the resulting juice. The juice was cold-settled at 35 degrees for 60 hours. Following cold settling the juice was racked off solids to start fermentation at 52 degrees. A combination of aroma enhancing yeast strains was utilized to inoculate the cold juice. The juice slowly but steadily fermented over the course of four weeks. The wine was kept on its fermentation lees through its cellar life to keep the wine fresh and increase its mouth feel and texture.
In the Glass
The bottled wine displays delicate fragrances of jasmine, sweet grapes, and ripe peach. The floral and fruity aromas of this wine are balanced by flavors of white nectarine, citrus fruits and honeydew melon. This wine is a delicious aperitif or can complement seafood dishes, herbed, white-sauced pastas and chicken dishes. Source