The 2009 Zamarro (90%) Chenin Blanc and (10%) Torrontes is sourced from the Mendoza region of Argentina. Zamarro is a brand name, not a winery, this a brand created to be sold at Safeway (and other) grocery stores, I found it selling for $3.99 on sale at Jewel’s (Chicago’s Safeway Store). This is a wine that is intended to help mainstream retailers compete with Trader Joe’s for valued priced wines. The same company that produces the Zamarro wines also produce Frenchhouse and Q wines. 2009 is not usually the current vintage for 4 dollar White wine, but Chenin Blanc is a wine that can use some bottle age. The alcohol content is 13%.
The color is pale olive oil yellow. The nose emits a slight scent of paint thinner from a few feet away, but that disappears as you get close to the glass. It smells of apple (core included), papaya, peach, butterscotch and apricot. This is not a light, crisp wine, there is some weight here. It tastes of pineapple juice mixed with pear juice, apple or pear core, grapefruit and a little orange Gatorade. There is no transition on the mid palate, what you get upfront is all there is, so luckily what is upfront is unique. The acidity leaves a fizzy sensation in your mouth, which isn’t unpleasant and the finish is more fizzy sensation than actual flavor.
The Zamarro Chenin Blanc/Torrontes is unlike any wine I have sampled lately, which is a complement, normally a $4 wine is competent and drinkable, but goes along with the herd. The Zamarro is definitely not your typical four buck wine. I have to give the Zamarro a tip of the hat (not that I ever wear one) for not being a competent version of the same old thing. You don’t see Chenin Blanc (and one with some bottle age) in the under 5 dollar category very often and a Chenin/Torrontes blend is rarer still. Any time you can spend 4 bucks on a bottle of wine and be challenged rather than bored, is $4 well spent.