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2012 El Libre Torrontes 

Mendoza, Argentina

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$9-$10 Retail

Named for the May 1810 revolution that resulted in Argentina's independence from Spanish rule, El Libre embodies the fresh and bright characteristics of New World white wines with its delightful balance, aromatic floral notes and lively acidity. Torrontes is the country's top white wine grape, with three distinct related variations, and is believed to be a descendent of both the Muscat of Alexandria family as well as Mission grapes, originally brought from Spain for planting at missions in North and South America. The diverse climatic conditions of the Andes mountain range have major influences on vineyards. Widely varying day-to-night temperatures encourage growers to lengthen the growing season, producing a better balance of ripeness and acidity. Hand harvested fruit was vinified in stainless steel tanks. In the glass, stone fruit aromas emerge with classic apricot, peach and a touch of spice. On the palate, taste slightly off-dry notes of citrus, melon, tropical fruit and minerality. Drink it with pasta bordelaise, pan-seared fish, oysters and other shellfish, salads, herb-roasted chicken and soft cheeses. Buy it at: Pearl Wine Co. and Rouses in Uptown, Mid-City and on Airline Drive in Metairie. — BRENDA MAITLAND

Email Brenda Maitland at


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