Possibly Harmful To Laboratory Animals

Review: 2009 Urban Uco Torrontes Cafayate

Rating: Viscous, off-dry, and offensive.  Could be the worst wine we've made the mistake of taking a lark on this year. $9

The Rest Of The Story: Jorge OrdoƱez, Spanish wine importing superstar, has a name synonymous with quality wine at reasonable - if not great - prices.  So it came as a surprise to see his name on the back label of this Argentinian wine...

Torrontes, Argentina's ubiquitous white wine grape, is an interesting bird.  And while there must be some winemakers producing Torrontes of extraordinary quality, most of what you'd expect to find on shelves here in the US is nothing complex.  Still, it's mostly tasty, refreshing, and appealing...you might place it somewhere between Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier.

This Torrontes, on the other hand, is somewhere between Listerine and a trip to Chuck E Cheese.

It's been a while since a wine has triggered a gag reflex like this. And while - really - we hate to so shamelessly blast someone's hard work, this review is as much a public service as it is critique.  We contacted the winery in hopes of getting some explanation as to what occurred, but didn't hear back...shocker.

The wine goes into the glass with the viscosity of frozen vodka, which is the first sign something is amiss.  On closer inspection, the aromas make a convincing impression of botrytis, though we're pretty sure the wine was not infected with noble rot - not on purpose anyway.  The off-dry and cloying sweetness of the nose follows through to the palate with sherry-like flavors.  Then  - and here's where it really nosedives - it gives way to an acidic bile-like bite in the back of the throat that feels like a chemical weapon might've landed in the vineyard.

Annoying at first, the lingering aftermath is aggressively offensive.  This wine is so bad it's got to have been a fuck up in the cellar after a long night of cooking meth.  A failure of a wine.  Not sure it's safe to experiment with.  Not even lab rats.

Sorry, Jorge.