One of the things we like best about wines made from the torrontes grape in Argentina's dazzling Mendoza region is their intensely floral quality. Those qualities are present in the 2009 Urban Uco Torrontes ($10 to $11 at wine savvy markets and wine shops), but the heady bouquet of violets one expects has been toned down and floral is no longer the top note on the tongue. It is a subtler, more sophisticated and nuanced torrontes than some, and thoroughly likable.
Violets bloom on the tongue but they're tempered by orange blossom and honey and complemented by a touch of savory anise, the whole showing a very nice crisp mineral edge. The finish is longish and dry, with all the characteristics of torrontes present but gentled.
This clean white wine will pair nicely with wild-caught salmon roasted in butter, olive oil, fresh dill and shallots. Pan seared sea scallops would be good, too, as would a simple baked chicken.
By Colette and John Bancroft. She is the Times' book editor, and he is a freelance writer specializing in food, wine and travel. For an index and archive of reviews, go to pictograph.com.