Dear Wine Ladies, We just learned that Malbecs, one of our favourite recent wine discoveries, has an international day named in their honour. Our latest find was the Malbec, Pascual Toso from Argentina, which apart from being delicious, was a great value at $14.25. We would love to know a little more about the wine and the annual celebration. – Alexander

Dear Alexander, It is no surprise that the Malbec you discovered comes from the country, and more specifically the region of Mendoza, Argentina. Just as Sauvignon Blanc is to New Zealand, Shiraz to Australia, and Cabernet Sauvignon to Napa, so is Malbec to Argentina as the flagship variety. This delectable grape is celebrated annually around the globe April 17th with the inaugural Malbec World Day that first occurred in 2011. On this day, the delectable, luscious, spicy and rich red grape is honoured with events, tastings and parties such as one of ours we hosted recently “Grape Stomping Mad about Malbec”.

The Malbec grape has truly found its niche in Argentina, boasting the largest Malbec acreage in the world. However, the varietal originally came from South West France, where it is called Cot, characterized by a more harsh tannic style.

A French agronomist hired by the Argentine government brought the vines to Argentina in 1852 in an effort to support and boost the national wine industry. Malbec was found to be naturally suited to the varied terroir of the Argentine landscape and produced wines that surpassed those of its original home.  Over time, the appreciation of this varietal grew and eventually became the flagship wine of Argentina as it is today.

Pascual Toso Estate Malbec is made by one of the oldest and most prestigious wine producers in Argentina, founded in 1890. The company is now reputed to be one of the leading quality wine brands in the country.  The grapes come from their estate, which is located in Barrancas ,one of the best wine growing areas in Mendoza. The wine is full bodied, complex with an aroma of red berries, plum and a hint of oak, on the palate, rich with blackberries, notes of licorice and a touch of vanilla, enjoy a lingering finish. For a special treat, Pascual Toso also has their Limited Edition Malbec for $17.25, a 90 Pointer by Robert Parker’s wine Advocate and Top 100 Wine by Wine Spectator.  Well deserved.