If you’re an avid wine drinker, you’re privy to the many selections in our market. From white, to sparkling to red and from country to country, region to region. It can certainly be overwhelming to make a choice in the sea of wine that is the liquor store.
I’ve recently had the pleasure of speaking with Export Director, Julian Orti and Winemaker, Felipe Stahlschmidt from Bodegas Toso as I tasted their red wines recently listed at the LCBO.
Stahlschmidt is the Chief Winemaker, but he amusingly calls himself head custodian of Pascual Toso. While he may be mopping up grape juice, Felipe is responsible for a rather large production in Argentina.
Pascual Toso is one of the oldest and most prestigious wineries in Argentina most notorious for their Malbec and Cabernet production.
While known for Malbec, the vineyard features many varietals that Felipe believes are all “equally exquisite as the high altitudes, warm temperatures and soils produce fruity, fresh and smooth wines”.
Bodegas y Viñedos Pascual Toso is considered “one of the most exciting and promising Argentinian wineries in our market”. Pascual Toso has been in business for 125 years, but remains ideally balanced with tradition and authenticity as well as innovation and eagerness to continually adapt and grow… pun intended.
Pascual Toso was responsible for establishing the region of “Barrancas”. This region focusses on its quality soil and ideal climate for these full-bodied reds. The diurnal range (temperature shift from day to night) allows the ripe red fruit to rest in the evenings producing complex, but rich juice. The water for irrigation comes from the snow of the Andes and through the Mendoza river. The soils include sand, silt and clay, which Felipe stresses is perfect for their vines.
Pascual Toso himself was originally from Italy and when he arrived in Argentina in the 1880s, he established his first winery in San José in 1890. Toso continued to grow through Maipu and the estate built winery “Las Barrancas”. As tradition remains for the winery, all fruit is estate grown and guaranteed for every wine they produce. This is an incredibly important part of the philosophy at Pascual Toso.
Pascual Toso wines range from Estate to Limited Edition and Reserva, but throughout the entire portfolio, each wine remains quality driven says Winemaker, Felipe.
Represented by Eurovintage Wine & Spirits in Ontario with listings at the LCBO. Recently released, the Barrancas Toso special Cabernet-Malbec blend into Vintages. Also, regularly available in General List is the Estate and Limited Edition Malbec.
You can and should explore a range of the Toso wines at the LCBO, but you should begin with the Estate and the Limited Edition Malbec.
The Estate is listed at the LCBO for $14, which is a price that anyone would have a hard time arguing. Under $15 for a decent bottle of red? Yes please.
This wine is ripe with black cherry, plum and vanilla. The tannin is ripe and the mid-palate remains structured with earth and spice. A simple, but easy drinking red. I’d enjoy this wine on its own or with barbecued meats. The juice is soaked for colour and fermented with selected yeasts for 8 days. The wine is macerated for 2-4 days post fermentation and aged in fairly neutral French and American oak barrels for more than 8 months.
The Estate Limited Edition Malbec is $16 at the LCBO, which is still an incredible price point. Deep in colour with Malbec typicity. Plum drives the ripe fruit aromas, while the palate is more complex with earth, baking spice and black fruit. The tannins are more buckle down making it great for food. Roasted meats pair incredibly well with this wine. A real value for the money. This wine was partially held in stainless steel, while part was aged in newer barrels.
The Estate should be drunk and enjoyed whenever you’re itching for a glass of red, while the Limited Edition or the newly released Barrancas blend could be featured at your next dinner party as great food pairing wines with value for quality.