#MalbecWorldDayTO that was co-hosted by iYellow Wine Club and Wines of Argentina at The Great Hall in the Queen West area in downtown Toronto.
is celebrated around the world every April 17th to commemorate the day when the President of Argentina Domingo Faustino Sarmiento officially made it his mission in 1853 to transform Argentina's wine industry and make it a world player in the wine scene. 150 years later, it is safe to say that he has succeeded in reaching that goal.
Today, Argentina is now the 5th largest producer of wine and Malbec is the most planted in grape in the country. Furthermore, even though Malbec's original home is in Cahors, France, nowhere in the world is there more acreage of Malbec grown than in Argentina.
Tuesday night's event featured more than 50 wines from 18 different Argentinian wineries. Among the many Malbecs and Malbec-blends were wines made from Torrontes, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah grapes. Included with your admission were latin-inspired chicken, beef and goat cheese empanadas, as well as beef and Argentinian rice on corn tortillas – this was a great touch as both food pairings complemented the wines very well.
All in all, it was a fun event with some fun, easy drinking wines, as well as a few serious wines for serious winos. The live DJ battle kept folks hopping throughout the night as well.
Here are wine reviews of 6 wines that I really enjoyed - 5 of which are currently available at the LCBO - to help you celebrate Malbec World Day this year. Enjoy!
TRAPICHE MALBEC RESERVE 2012 - Mendoza, Argentina (#614651) (D) - $11.95
Medium-high aromas with earthy, green, black cherry, and hint of brett (barnyard) notes. Full-bodied with sweet ripe black fruits and gentle oak spice flavours. Tannins are big, yet very smooth and integrated. Very good acids and finishing long. Fine value at this price! LCBO General List and always available. Score: 88 pts
PASCUAL TOSO MALBEC LIMITED EDITION 2012 - Mendoza, Argentina (#162610) (D) - $15.95
A terroir-driven wine that hails from Barrancas, the 2012 is highly aromatic with mineral, wet stone and plum aromas. It's medium-bodied with refined tannins. Palate has mineral, dark fruit, wet stone, and elegant oak spice flavours. Very good acids and a long finish that is slightly warm. LCBO General List product and always available. Score: 89 pts
LUIGI BOSCA MALBEC 2011 - Mendoza, Argentina (#079293) (XD) - $17.95
Made from vines over 50 years old that are located 960 metres above sea level. Medium intensity nose with green, ripe black fruit and oak aromas. Medium-bodied with pleasant aroma replays and notes of bitter chocolate. Chalky tannins will reward another year or two in cellar. Mouth-watering acids and a long finish. Vintages product. Score: 88 pts
KAIKEN ULTRA CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2010 - Mendoza, Argentina (#135202) (D) - $19.95
Medium+ intensity aromas showing cassis, red fruits and new oak. Medium+ bodied with chalky tannins on the palate. Flavour profile consists of sweet ripe fruits, plum, milk chocolate, and leather. Good acids and long finishing. Vintages product. Score: 89 pts
CLOS DE LOS SIETE 2010 - Mendoza, Argentina (#622571) (XD) - $21.95
Malbec blend containing 57% Malbec, 15% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Syrah, and 3% Petit Verdot. Medium-high intensity aromas consisting of spice, peppercorn, oak and dark fruits. Palate is full-bodied showing sweet tobacco, red & black fruits, and Asian spice. Firm, yet refined, tannins, very good acids and finishing long. Vintages product. Score: 90 pts
NORTON PRIVADA 2010 - Mendoza, Argentina (#) (XD) - $24.95
Blend of Malbec, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Beautiful floral, purple, dark fruit, blackberry, cedar oak and mocha aromas. It's full bodied with big, silky smooth tannins. Flavour palate has nice blackberry liquer, oak, dark chocolate, and spice flavours. Balanced acids and a long, smooth finish. Delicious! Score: 91 pts