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Expand your palate with an unfamilar grape

Try this South American trio tonight
Try this South American trio tonight
Julia Hollister

While South American winemakers are toiling through their 2014 harvest, those of us in North American can sip an unfamiliar white varietal and two familiar standards at our leisure.

This trio comes from Alamos wines in the Mendoza region of Argentina.

Torrontes is the signature white grape of the country and is known for its delicate citrus flavors and aromas of orange and jasmine.

“Our 2013 torronetes ($13) selection is made with grapes from Salta, one of my country’s most notable regions for this iconic variety,” said winemaker Felipe Stahlschmidt. “The soft flavors and balanced acidity makes this wine a great pairing with shrimp and grilled potatoes sautéed in a spicy dressing.”

The 2012 chardonnay, also $13, comes from vineyards high in the Andes Mountains where intense sunlight and cool evenings result in an exceptional varietal. These conditions allowed the grapes longer hang time that enhanced flavors. This chardonnay displays apple, apricot and peach flavors with hints of butterscotch.

“The temperatures during the 2013 growing season resulted in incredible red wines, “Stahlschmidt said. “I believe our 2013 cabernet sauvignon offers a glimpse into this phenomenal year.”

This deep ruby red selection explodes with dark berry aromas as an introduction to baking spice, vanilla and juicy plum flavors.

Pour this lush cabernet with roasted meats or rich chocolate pie.

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