Referring to my previous blog about our in-house Argentina wine tasting, I did say ‘a line of bottles in front of us’, so of course, there was more than one Argentinean wine I got to taste that day…that work-day of dreams! The second wine was by the same winery, Bodega Tukma from Valle Calchaqui in Cafayate, Salta, made with the same varietal, Torrontes and was from the same vintage, 2010. So what was the point of tasting this, if it is exactly the same as the previous wine? Well, this was Bodega Tukma’s Gran Torrontes with six month in French oak. Wait, what? French oak. Torrontes. For me the two words do not compute.
As far as I have ever been concerned, oak of any type, would be far too powerful for those delicate floral aromas that make Torrontes so unique. They would be consumed by the oak, obliterated, obsolete. Why the heck would you want to take away from that those beautiful characteristics? For these reasons, I must admit, I have never actually tried an oaked Torrontes, so I guess I shouldn’t be so judgmental and taste the blooming thing.
The colour showed clear tell tale signs of its time in oak as it was more of an intense yellow than Bodega Tukma’s Reserva Torrontes, with pronounced golden highlights. So here we go with the aroma….big sniff, annnnnd….strange. Not an ounce of what I love about Torrontes to be found and polar opposite of the Reserva Torrontes. There was no fruity white peach, grapefruit or honeydew melon, no white flowers like jasmine, honeysuckle, elderflower, no butterscotch or honey. It was wood; wood that was so overpowering that I almost believed I was drinking a heavily oaked Chardonnay from California. Notes of intense spicy butter, vanilla and something medicinal like antibiotics crept out of the glass. By this point my nose was certainly crinkled, giving what I’m pretty sure was an expression of pure disgust. Well, hopefully the taste would bring back a smile??
It was a twitch at least. It had quite an enveloping, full palate, with flavours that showed an interesting (somewhat weird) mixture of citrus, roasted walnuts and toasted bread with a lingering finish that brought out some of that classic Torrontes bitter dry end also giving the wine a lick of harshness. I tasted, I dumped. By no means is this a bad wine, it is in fact very high quality, I’m just not fanatical about heavily oaked white wines.
A lesson learnt for me here; stick with your guns, trust your instincts and an oaked Torrontes is not for me.
Incoming search terms:
- tukma winery argentina