We have a rather curious wine to recommend this week, one in which a 50/50 blend of chardonnay and torrontes yields a flavor profile dominated by the flowery, herbal torrontes, but with a sort of piña colada edge. The 2011 Bandana Chardonnay-Torrontes (about $9 to $11 at big box stores and wine savvy markets) comes to us from the storied foothills of the Andes in Argentina's Mendoza region, from which so many lovely wines flow these days.
This white blend's bouquet is just about all torrontes, very herby and very floral. Torrontes leads on the tongue, too, but then notes of fresh pineapple, lime and coconut hop on board. Oddly, this trio is not in the least sweet, so that the wine maintains an admirable crispness touched with welcome minerality. The long dry finish is fruity and flinty at once, a nice trick if you can carry it off.
So what happened to the chardonnay? It seems to have disappeared into the blend's peculiarly satisfying personality and to be present primarily to lend the torrontes added heft and a richer mouth feel.
Pair this with chilled shellfish, from peel-and-eat shrimp to lobster salad, or enjoy it as a delightful warm weather sundowner.
By Colette and John Bancroft. She is the Times' book editor, and he is a freelance writer specializing in food, wine and travel.