90 Points Wine Advocate: The 2011 Alta Vista Premium Torrontes was harvested via three passes through the vineyard in Cafayate and such exacting standards show in this great wine. It has a boisterous, quasi-Gewurztraminer bouquet of lemon zest, barley sugar and apricot that leaps out of the glass. The palate is well-balanced with peach and elderflower on the entry, and expresses the varietal with some style. This is an effervescent, somehow life-affirming white wine. Drink now-2016.
This is a dry clean wine with a rustic edge and no off flavors. It stands up well with strong flavored food on the summer grill. I bought one bottle and like it well enough that I bought three more
Wine Maker Notes
Alta Vista was founded by the late great Jean-Michel Arcaute, the man who resurrected Chateau Clinet in Pomerol during the 1980s. Alta Vista, once part of Clos de Los Siete, comprises five different vineyards that together constitute 230 hectares of vines all planted over 1,000 meters above sea level, the exception being the Torrontes from Cafayate that came on-stream in 2001. The winery itself is historical, having been constructed in 1899 and refurbished in 2003. It is worth walking round to see the enormous vats that once held thousands of liters of wine. They are long disused and replaced by small stainless steel vessels that allow technical director Philippe Rolet to execute precision winemaking, and indeed he told me that he is seeking even smaller vats in the future. I found Philippe to be one of the most thoughtful winemakers that I met during my travels in Mendoza: obsessed with terroir and the first to pursue single vineyard bottlings (to the extent that Alta Vista initially patented the expression, since given away to allow its usage.) This was a very strong set of intellectual wines that in some ways are paradigmatic of the direction Argentina is going. Moreover, I consider them to be extremely well-priced vis-a-vis quality. The single vineyard series is vinified in the same way, all raised in new oak for 12 months and bottled on the same day. The only difference is the massal selection and the date of harvest.