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Pascual Toso

text and photographs © 2008 Tom Cannavan

These notes accompany our in-depth feature on Argentina.

sparkling wines

Pascual Toso Brut
Toso has been producing sparkling wine for 85 years, and is second-biggest sparkling exporter in Argentina. Charmat method Chardonnay, in contact with lees for 5 months. Nice small bubbles and a bit of buttery, toasty quality which is nice to find. Apple and lemon fruit. Very nice on the palate, with a generous appeal and a touch of RS making this crisp but deliciously easy to drink. 87/100. £6.49

Pascual Toso Extra Brut Pinot Noir
A Champagne-method wine made from Pinot Noir. A little bit of herbal quality, with a nice sour lemon and bruised fruit quality. Good, tiny bubbles, with orange and peach, and a certain nuttiness. Very racy mouth, but this is really stylish and delivers a lot of fine, slightly toasty and herbal quality with lovely acidity. 89/100. £10.99

white wines

Pascual Toso Chardonnay 2007
40% Barrel fermented in American oak, 60% tank. Nice nose, with a touch of bourbon barrel and plenty of fine, quite fat lemony fruit. Palate is very nicely judged, with terrific zest backed up with a fine creaminess and hint of spice, and just a lovely mouthfeel and balance. 88/100. £6.49

Pascual Toso Sauvignon Blanc 2007
Picked early (end February) With nicely vegetal nose, lots of herbaceous nettle aromas. Good mouthfeel, with racy acidity and very good expressive varietal fruit. 86/100. £6.49

Pascual Toso Torrontes 2007
Very fine, with interesting herbal note suggesting fennel. The flavours are vibrant and punchy, with a crisp but powerful mid-palate punch of fruit, with lots of lemony concentration before a racy grapefruit acidity. Excellent example. 87/100. £6.49

red and rosé wines

Pascual Toso Malbec rosé 2007
20 hours cold maceration, followed by saignee method. Lovely floral and racy, charming cherry and strawberry fruit. Dry without being aggressive, with the racy but delicate fruit and acid balance very charming and sippable. 85/100. £6.49

Pascual Toso Merlot 2006
Same format for all of the reds in the varietal £6.49 range, with 40% aged in American oak. Quite creamy red berry fruits, with a touch of herbal quality. The palate has real fruit sweetness, with an unctuous core of plummy, jammy raspberry fruit, wrapped in a spicy, charry dark oak. 86/100

Pascual Toso Malbec 2006
Very fine Malbec nose, with definite violet and cherry highlights. The fruit is quite black and deep, with a velvety mouthfeel and a stripe of something earthy and herbal that adds a lot of interest. The tannins and acids are quite firm and racy, which keeps this fresh. 87/100. £6.49

Pascual Toso Syrah 2006
Bold, jammy raspberry fruit, with a thick, silky backing of richer blackcurrant, and the oak really quite delicate, adding just a touch of charry spice. The palate has good acidity, with a real vibrancy and tang, with lots of flesh and richness, and chocolaty tannins combining with some charry oak to support and add spicy depth. A very good wine. 88/100. £6.49

Pascual Toso Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
Very good varietal character, with a touch of leafiness and black olive to blackcurrant fruit, and a smoky edge from the 40% American oak. Hinting at violet and Nice bit of structure on the palate, with the fruit still forward, glossy and bold, but tannins a little firmer and still good acid, keeping this quite crisp and juicy, though nice and easy to drink. 88/100.

Pascual Toso Reserve Malbec 2006
80% American, 20% French for one year, first and second-fill barrels. Extremely concentrated, pure, varietal nose, with intense kirsch and ripe, juicy black plum fruit, wrapped in a vanillin oak. Silky palate, with terrific mouthfeel, with very creamy black fruit, but just that little cherry and Parma violet fruit brightness, melding with chocolaty tannins, spice and good balance overall. 89/100. £8.99

Pascual Toso Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
Quite an elegant black fruit nose, with a slightly suppressed exuberance, and a certain tannic grip and roughness on the palate. The slightly grainy quality of the tannins plus the charry oak is perhaps a touch astringent and spicy, but again a complex and powerful wine at a very reasonable price. 88/100. £8.99

Pascual Toso Alta Reserve Syrah 2006
14 months in American oak, form a yield of six hl/ha. Very big, minty, super ripe and creamy nose, with masses of minty chocolate and slick black fruit. On the palate there's a slight spicy harshness that I think is a touch too much oak, but fantastic creamy fruit quality. £14. 90/100

Pascual Toso Finca Pedregal 2005
70% Malbec, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon. Malbec in French oak, Cab in US. Name means “land of many stones”, from a very rocky vineyard site. Fairly subdued nose, with nice cedary character, and a touch of herbal nuance to silky black fruit. Delightful fruit on the palate, with a silkiness to the plum and blackberry fruit, with lots of plushness and ripeness, and plenty of creamy, plush oak but not dominating the richness of the fruit and structure of tannins and acidity. 92/100. £21.00

Pascual Toso Magdalena Toso
From the old Magdalena vineyard in front of the property, of 90-year-old vines. First Magdalena since 2002, and only 40 barrels made. 90% Malbec and 10% Cabernet from the ancient trellised vineyard. All new French oak for 18 months. Delightfully deep nose, flooded with coffee, tobacco and a deep pool of sinewy, silky black fruit. Just a hint of something herbal, and delightful spicy undercurrent. The palate has the same concentrated appeal of silky, blue-black fruit, like damsons and glossy black cherry, with the espresso and chocolaty appeal of the classy oak and ripe tannins adding a defining edge. Acidity is very good too, in a wine with excellent balance and a very beautiful structure and appeal. Extremely fine, and needs time. 94/100. £30.00

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