Monday, December 3, 2012

Pascual Toso Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 Argentina

Pascual Toso was a 19th century transplant to Argentina from Piemonte in Italy, where his family had a wine business.  He originally intended to import wine, but decided that the grapes in Mendoza were good enough for winemaking.  Toso established the winery in 1890, making his the first in the region.

With the Andes mountains to the west, Mendoza is shielded from rain and has a correspondingly dry climate with warm temperatures.  Today, Pascual Toso's vineyards are in the Maipú subregion.  Sebastopol winemaker Paul Hobbs signed on in 2001 to consult Toso winemaker Rolando Luppino.

The wine carries a 14% abv number for alcohol content.  It is imported by TGIC Importers of Woodland Hills, California, who supplied the sample I tasted.  The retail price is around $15 per bottle.

The Pascual Toso 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon has a dark ruby hue in the glass, showing a nice purple rim.  Blackberry aromas come first on the nose, with hints of oak afterward.  Vanilla and a wisp of cedar run underneath the dark fruit.  It's good to find the oak is not an overpowering presence, and that there's no alcohol heat when sniffing it - even with minimal decanting.

Plummy flavors adorn the palate, and the tannic structure is firm.  There is a nice level of acidity, or freshness, in the mouth and the wine does not feel too heavy.  The finish lingers nicely with a sense of cassis.  I find an earthiness in the taste, which I like a lot.  I don't think this Cab will bowl anyone over, but it will serve nicely as an everyday accompaniment to beef, pork or cheese.

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