Pascual Toso Magdalena Toso 2013
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
When in the mid 1880s Pascual Toso set out towards Argentina from its home town, Canale D’Alba, in Piamonte, Italy, he could not have imagined that he would become the founder of a winery, which is today one of the oldest and most prestigious wineries in Argentina.
When he arrived in Argentina, he settled in Mendoza. As he had been closely involved in the development of his family wine business in Piedmont, he promptly saw the promising future for winemaking in the region and decided to use his expertise. Thus, in 1890, Pascual Toso established his first winery in San José, Guaymallén.
At the beginning of the 20th century, he decided to expand his business and acquired vineyards in Maipú. At his estate “Las Barrancas”, he built another winery, “Las Barrancas” (small Canyon) which is dedicated to producing and growing the finest grapes.
In 2001, the Bodega hired as winemaker consultant to Mr. Paul Hobbs for a new high quality wine project. He has been working head to head with our chief winemaker, Rolando Luppino, on the development of premium and super-premium wines. Today, Pascual Toso still makes wines of high quality under the most exigent procedures and rules. The Trophy for Best Argentine Producer awarded by the IWSC (London) in 2007 reflects this commitment to quality.
By far the largest and best-known winemaking province in Argentina, Mendoza is responsible for over 70% of the country’s enological output. Set in the eastern foothills of the Andes Mountains, the climate is dry and continental, presenting relatively few challenges for viticulturists during the growing season. Mendoza, divided into several distinctive sub-regions, including Luján de Cuyo and the Uco Valley, is the source of some of the country’s finest wines.
For many wine lovers, Mendoza is practically synonymous with Malbec. Originally a Bordelaise variety brought to Argentina by the French in the mid-1800s, here it found success and renown that it never knew in its homeland where a finicky climate gives mixed results. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot and Pinot Noir are all widely planted here as well (and sometimes even blended with each other or Malbec). Mendoza's main white varieties include Chardonnay, Torrontés, Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon.
One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.
In the Glass
Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.
Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.
While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.