The number of wines to choose from is literally endless. With so many countries and grape varieties to choose from why drink the same wine twice? Well, especially when you discover a winery making quality wines that suit your palate it’s hard to resist going back to a wine you know you will enjoy. And if that winery also follows organic practices in the vineyard and the winery, that’s another reason to reach for it. Finally, if the price is right then why the heck not?
These are the three best reasons I can think of to choose Domaine Bousquet. This latest group of wines, which we received as tasting samples, is no exception. We’ve had the opportunity to sample these elegant, flavorful wines over several vintages and can say the quality is consistently very high.
As viticulturists and winemakers in new world wine regions learn the nuances of soil and climate over years of experience particular aspects of a region’s terroir, such as elevation, can become particularly important to making quality wines. Such is the case in Argentina, where high-elevation vineyards are recognized for their potential to make distinctive wines.
Gualtallary in the Tupungato district of the Uco Valley in Argentina’s Mendoza region is one such high-elevation location. This remote, semi-desert region attracted Jean Bousquet in 1990 during a visit from his home in France. In 1997 he purchased property, made plans to plant vineyards and build a winery.
Today Domaine Bousquet is in the able hands of Jean’s daughter Anne Bousquet and her husband Labid Al Ameri. The winery makes four million liters of wine annually and exports 95% of their wine to more than 50 countries worldwide. Not only are the estate vineyards farmed organically, both the vineyard and winery are certified organic. All farming has been organic from day one. And most importantly, every bottle of Domaine Bousquet wine says made with organic grapes right on the label, making it easy for consumers to make informed choices.
Domaine Bousquet NV Sparkling Rosé Brut, Tupungato, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina — pale salmon in the glass with generous bubbles. Aromas of ripe pears and mixed berries are followed by flavors of raspberries and strawberries along with a squeeze of citrus. The finish is clean with lingering bubbles. 12% abv. SRP $13
Given the fresh flavors and attractive price, this is just the sip to begin the evening or enjoy as you begin preparing dinner. Another option is to use this sparkler in a wine cocktail such as Everything’s Coming Up Rosé. The blend in 75% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay both harvested from estate vineyards. The bubble-producing second fermentation takes place in pressurized stainless steel tanks.
2018 Domaine Bousquet Cabernet Sauvignon, Gualtallary, Mendoza, Argentina — dark ruby in the glass with aromas of dark fruit, cigar box and tobacco. Flavors lead with currents, plums, tobacco leaf, leather and earth. Tannins are drying and smooth. 15% abv. SRP $20
Elegant, layered flavors are balanced with nicely integrated tannins. The 15% abv is not evident in tasting this wine. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon harvested from estate vineyards and aged in French oak for between eight and ten months.
2018 Domaine Bousquet Cabernet Franc, Gualtallary, Mendoza, Argentina — dark ruby in the glass with toast dark fruit and earthy aromas. Flavors lead with plums, blackberries, dusty earth and cedar. Tannins are gauzy and a bit grippy and the finish is a bit warm. 15% abv. SRP $20
Dark, brooding, plenty of structure. 100% Cabernet Franc harvested from estate vineyards and aged in French oak for 10 months.
So many times varietal Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc are blended with other varieties. It’s interesting that both of these Domaine Bousquet Gaia wines are 100% varietal wines. I appreciate that both varieties have the complexity to stand on their own in these wines.
Thanks to Domaine Bousquet for sharing your wines with us and to Creative Palate Communications for sending these wines our way.