The picture up top is from the Jose L. Mounier Estate, up in the hills outside Cafayate. The Mounier brothers run a small artisanal winery, producing a small amount of Malbec blends and Torrontes, pretty much all by hand.
For those you in the fermentation crowd, you’ll know that wine production is generally a highly controlled endeavor utilizing a mix of sterilization and added yeasts. However, the skin and seeds of the grape have yeasts of their own, and it is with this traditional method, free of any additives, that the Mouniers produce their outstanding wines.
Torrontes is a white wine, produced from a hybrid fruit first cultivated in Argentina. We’re no vinophiles, but we’ve had our share of Torrontes on this trip, and, if you’ll forgive my use of American Beer-nacular, I believe we are prepared to describe this wine as it should be. Upon first sip, the Torrontes should have a clean, neutral taste that is soon followed by a floral, but not sweet sensation. The finish is a dry, crisp taste of pomelo, or grapefruit, and it should leave no bitterness on the palette. In case you haven’t caught on, we really dig this stuff and the Mouniers do it right!
For whatever reason, Torrontes is not easily found in the States. Bodegas Etchart is a larger producer owned by the Pernod company that I believe might be available. It’s not the best we’ve had, but it is a decent representation so y’all should go out and grab a bottle as the northern weather begins to warm.
Whatever you get, with all due respect to my brothers in La Rioja, purchase a wine from the Cafayate region. Some say it’s the land; some say the sun and wind; I say it is the magical force of Grapetastic Awesome. Speaking of which, somebody needs to produce wine sorbet in America. It is a gift from the deities.
I dig the sorbet!!! … new avenue to “happiness”
And as a Fermentation Fan, I’ll go for the Torrontes! Search is on. Meanwhile the pix and comments continue to be awesome. What a trip! Enjoyed the you tube clip as well. Can see with help of Giant Rand McNally Atlas more or less where you are. And have been trying to sip alongside your trail, though usually days/miles behind: just finished a Malbec from Mendoza: H.J.Fabre from Lujan de Cayo. Good wine. Did you pass through there? Seems to be accidental which wine winds up where in USA. Appreciated political comments. Timely, since CIA/USA now making huge effort not to bungle Middle East as they did S.America—-but we know what the result will be. Discussion deferred. Keep us posted re Books for Bolivia. Shipments can be arranged from—-where else?—-Amazon.
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