Anne Bousquet questioned her father’s 1997 purchase of nearly 1000 acres in remote Gualtallary in Argentina’s Mendoza region with humor, asking, “What are you doing? Buying a beach? All sand, no sea?” Well, Jean Bousquet has had the last laugh as Domaine Bousquet is now well established with certified-organic vineyards in the Tupungato district of Mendoza’s Uco Valley, a modern winery, restaurant and worldwide distribution of their organic wines. Today we are sipping several ranges of Domaine Bousquet wines provided to us as tasting samples.
What looked like sand and scrub brush to others, looked like potential quality vineyard territory to Jean Bousquet. He wasn’t deterred by the lack of paved roads or electricity in the area. Jean was so convinced of the high-desert region’s potential that he sold the family winery and vineyards in Pennautier, near Carcassonne in Southwest France, in order to make the move. Anne and her husband, Labid Al Ameri, quickly came to recognize the potential as well. Over time the couple invested financially and helped with the construction of the winery. By 2011 they purchased Domaine Bousquet from Anne’s father.
This part of Gualtallary sits at 4000 feet above sea level, which means a large shift in temperature between day and night. Rainfall is minimal, but runoff from the Andes and water drawn from wells provide enough water, used judiciously, to support the vineyards and winemaking. Farming has followed organic principles from the beginning and is certified organic. Not only that, you will see the organic certification on the wine bottle as well. Many organic growers do not go the extra step to certify their wines, but Domaine Bousquet does.
In addition, the Virgen range of wines are made without adding sulfites, qualifying them to carry the USDA Certified Organic label. All Domaine Bousquet wines offer excellent quality for the price and are widely distributed in the US.
Both the Gaia and Reserve line of wines are sourced entirely from estate-grown fruit.
2018 Domaine Bousquet Gaia Red Blend, Tupungato, Argentina — dark ruby in the glass with aromas of plums, blackberries and coffee beans. Berry flavors combine with dusty earth and dried herbs and are supported by drying tannins in a medium body. Fruit flavors are bright with lively acidity. 14.5% abv. SRP $20
2019 Domaine Bousquet Virgen Organic Cabernet Sauvignon, Tupungato, Argentina — medium ruby in the glass with aromas of red berries, blackberries and dried tomato leaf. Blackberry flavors, dusty earth with notes of dried tomato leaf in the background are supported by bright acidity and drying tannins in a medium body. 14.5% abv. SRP $13
2019 Domaine Bousquet Virgen Organic Red Blend, Tupungato, Argentina — medium ruby in the glass with aromas of ripe blueberries, blackberries and crushed flower stems. Flavors lead with red fruit and berries with hints of dried herbs, dusty earth and bright acidity. This is the most flavorful of the Virgen wines in this group. SRP $13
2019 Domaine Bousquet Virgen Organic Malbec, Tupungato, Argentina — dark ruby in the glass with aromas of crushed flower stems, ripe blue berries and raspberries. Tart mixed berry flavors combine with earth, dried hay and juicy acidity. Tannins are grippy, but well integrated. 14.5% abv. SRP $13
2018 Domaine Bousquet Reserve Chardonnay, Tupungato, Argentina — pale yellow in the glass with aromas of ripe melon, pear and grated citrus. The flavor profile leads with ripe pear, then melon with citrusy acidity and stony minerality in a medium body. The flavors are bright, lively and refreshing. 14.5% abv. SRP $18
2018 Domaine Bousquet Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Tupungato, Argentina — medium ruby-garnet in the glass with aromas and flavors of dark berries, plums, dried tomato leaf and dusty earth. Tannins are well integrated and slightly drying with bright acidity and a warming finish. 15% abv. SRP $18
2018 Domaine Bousquet Reserve Malbec, Tupungato, Argentina — dark ruby in the glass with aromas of ripe blueberries and crushed flower stems. Blueberry and blackberry flavors combine with dusty earth, crushed flower stems and grippy tannins The body is medium with juicy acidity and a very fruity flavor profile. SRP $18
All of these wines possess a common thread of bright acidity and pure fruit flavors. They are a delight to taste and knowing the grapes are grown organically makes these wines even more attractive to me than they are based on their flavors alone. I think the winemaking team at Domaine Bousquet must be part magician as well a skilled winemaker, because I don’t know how the make such delicious wines for so reasonable a price. But I’m glad they do.
As with every Domaine Bousquet wine I’ve tasted, there isn’t even a hint of funk or off-flavors in any of these wines. These are clean, well-made wines. If you’ve been curious about organic wines, Domaine Bousquet is an excellent place to begin your exploration.
Thanks to the ladies at Creative Palate Communications for sending these lovely organic wines our way.