The Date and Time: Wednesday, October 12, 2016 11AM to 2PM
The Event: Winemaker Tasting for Pascual Toso (Argentina)with Ontario agent Eurovintage.
The Venue: National Club
The Target Audience: media (wine and others)
The Availability/Catalogue: most wines are available at the LCBO or will be. There were some uncertainties about the wine notes (some wines were not available), but it all got straightened out in the end.
The Quote/Background: Pascual Toso arrived from Piedmont and set up his winery in 1890. The tasting today was part of a road trip to celebrate the winery's 125th anniversary and to introduce Felipe Stahlschmidt their new winemaker who signed on in 2015 after 10 years with Catena. They make primarily malbec, cabernet sauvignon, and chardonnay in Maipu (La Barrancas). The company produces some 7 million litres of wine a year at different levels. Paul Hobbs came in 2001 as a consultant, refining the upper level Toso blends and crafting a New World approach to their wines. Today was also the Ontario release of the Barrancas Toso Malbec (60%)-Cabernet Sauvignon (40%) Red Blend 2014, $18.95 at Vintages TBD. It was crafted to celebrate the 125th anniversary and bears a special label.
The Wines: we started with Toso Brut Chardonnay NV Charmat Method Mendoza, 12%, not available in Ontario. And we finished with Pascual Toso 2014, a limited edition of 125 double magnums autographed by Paul Hobbs, and celebrating 125 years of Toso. Here, the company took one barrel of their best malbec and one barrel of their best cabernet sauvignon, and blended it 50-50 to produce the anniversary blend. It still needed time, of course. And I wonder what it would be like at the 150th anniversary.
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Pacual Toso Barrancas Toso Malbec-Cabernet Sauvignon Red Blend 2014 125th Anniversary, $18.95 TBD
-Pascual Toso Alta Malbec 2014 Barrancas, $32.95
-Pascual Toso Alta Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Barrancas, +441907 Vintages, $32.95.
-Pascual Toso Finca Pedregal Malbec-Cabernet Sauvignon (72-28%) 2014 Barrancas, $69.95
-Pascual Toso Magdalena Toso Malbec-Cabernet Sauvignon (73-27%) 2013 Barrancas, $99.95
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Pascual Toso Cabernet Sauvignon Limited Edition 2014 Barrancas, $16.95
-Pascual Toso Malbec Limited Edition 2014 Barrancas, +162610 LCBO, $16.20
-Pascual Toso Malbec Reserve 2013 Barrancas, +183897 Vintages, $19.95
*** GOOD -- Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Pascual Toso Malbec 2014 Barrancas, +35170 LCBO, $14.14
The Food: the National Club had prepared an Argentine buffet extravaganza, with sausages and charcuterie cold cuts, salads, peppers, hot rice dishes, croquettes, and stuffed tenderloins. Cheeses were mainly Spanish.
The Downside: I had to leave early for a matinee.
The Upside: a chance to speak to Felipe Stahlschmidt
The Contact Person: email@example.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 87.