Pascual Toso, Mendoza, Malbec reserve 2004. $13 find this wine
On my recent trip to Argentina, the jovial Ernesto Toso picked me up in his beat-up sedan and drove me from downtown Mendoza to his family winery in the Barrancas area, about 45 minutes. Overlooking a dry river bed that had channeled into the ground like a miniature Grand Canyon, I tasted the line of wines made at the winery with Paul Hobbs from Sonoma, California as consulting winemaker. The real sweet spot in terms of quality to price was the Malbec reserve with wonderful aromas of dark fruits and a hint of vanilla to complement a luscious mouthfeel and soft tannins. The straight malbec (about $8) is a good approximation but spring for the reserve if your budget permits. Fire up the grill and pull the cork! I also tried the $100 Magdalena 2002 (find this wine), which was no doubt a powerful and serious wine but at that lofty price point I couldn’t help but think about other wines I could have—or even nine bottles of the malbec reserve. Importer: TGIC imports.