Pascual Toso Wine Celebrate its 125th Anniversary
On October 18th, a group of young, excited journalists gathered at the Hospital Club in Covent Garden to learn about the prestigious Argentinian wine brand Pascual Toso.
The eponymous company was inspired by founder 'Pascual Toso' himself - although in fact Italian, his wines are the product of his journey from his home in Piedmont, (a region bordering Switzerland and France in Italy) to the Mendoza Province in the Mid-West of Argentina.
Pascual's passion for wine-making and working in the vineyards remained close to home.
His knowledge and understanding of the required process was introduced to him by his family in Piedmont from a young age - and it seemed that the fertile soils and excellent climate Argentina offered him proved to be the perfect location to continue what he'd already learnt.
And so, Pascual opened what would be the first of many successful wineries in 1890 in Guaymallén, in Mendoza...
Pascual Toso Wine Tasting
We were introduced to Chief Winemaker, Felipe Stahlschmidt who took us through each of the six signature wines. Felipe was extremely informative and more importantly, passionate about the wines grown and made in his home in Argentina. He'd kindly joined us for a fleeting visit to speak to us before returning back.
Pascual Toso Estate Cabernet Sauvignon - 2014
This was the first wine we tried and also my firm favourite. Speaking to Felipe, it turned out that the reason I likened to this Cabernet Sauvignon was because of the low levels of tannin. I wasn't aware of this but about 50% of the dry weight of plants and plant leaves are tannins. As a characteristic of wine, tannin adds both bitterness and astringency as well as complexity.
Wine tannins, Felipe explained are most commonly found in red wine, (which would be why I've always prefered white wine!) although some white wines have tannin when aged in wooden barrels.
This Estate Cabernet Sauvignon carried aromas of blackberry and currants leading into a really smooth finish and is available to purchase at the Whalley Wine Shop at £10 a bottle (bargain or what!?)
Pascual Toso Estate Malbec - 2015
The next wine we tasted was a younger wine, described as having ripe fruits on the nose with aromas of plums and quince and a touch of elegant oak. A recommended choice for Autumn and Winter as we really felt the plum and quince coming through. There were also hints of blackberry and liquorice fruit on the palate with this one which turned out to be a firm favourite amongst guests.
The 2015 Malbec is available to purchase from Soho Wines at £10
As we traversed through the list, the wines became more and more luxurious. Richer, darker, also slightly spicier too!
Pascual Toso Limited Edition Malbec [left] - 2014 - £14 - The Vintner
A wine filled with aromas of plums and a palate of blackberry and black cherries. This was also a favourite of mine.
Pascual Toso Selected Malbec [above right] - 2014 - £15
Similar to the Limited Edition Malbec, this red wine is rich and long with smoky vanilla and soft, supple tannins. It was great to see guests finishing each glass they tested.
Chatting to Wine Producer of Kingsland Drinks Peter Fairclough, we struck a chord on the subject of educating the younger generation on drinking wine. It's become clearer as a 23 year old who spent her University years in London (and also living in France where adolescents drinking red wine is a norm) that more and more young Brits are drinking alcohol that has more commonly been associated with the over 40s; prosecco, whisky, gin, wine, and younger brands of craft beer too.
I feel that now is the time to learn more about these drinks and distinguish why we like one from another. Young Brits are guilty of drinking for the purpose of getting drunk and I really feel that events like this are starting to pave the way towards my generation in Britain becoming more wine savvy, especially when pairing wine with good food! Like most countries in Europe and South America, I'd love if we could encourage more people to know about food and wine pairing when cooking at home or dining out. It adds a whole other dimension to dining!
Pascual Toso Alta Syrah - 2012 - £25
You could see the group's eyes widen with this wine. Pascual Toso describes this wine as a 'deep, bright red combined with violent hints.' The Alta Syrah also boasts spicy aromas, plenty of vanilla and cocoa on the nose.
Pascual Toso Magdalena Malbec/Cabernet Sauvignon - 2012 - £65
The most expensive of the list, combining both Magdalena Malbec & Cabernet Sauvignon together. This fusion distinguishes itself by an intense red hue with notes of violets and plums and sweeter tannins than the others. The Cabernet Sauvignon adds a touch of juicy, raspberry notes on the nose with boysenberry and plenty of vanilla aromas, delicate spice and even hints of chocolate. Unsurprisingly, this wine won the majority of votes in the group. You can purchase this premium wine for £65 available from Addison Wines
Their 20 Oak Barrel selection is extremely popular and I'd strongly recommend trying some of their wines - they're perfect for gifts, dinner parties or to treat yourself (especially if you don't want to splurge, the less expensive wines from Pascual Toso are equally as delicious!)