Having experienced double-digit growth in production, sales, and a rather aggressive diversification of its portfolio, Uco Valley’s Domaine Bousquet continues to amplify its voice in the conversation of wines from Argentina. Over a recent webinar, vineyard owner Anne Bousquet and lead winemaker Rodrigo Serrano presented an overview of current winery operations and sustainability measures while leading a tasting featuring a small percentage of its portfolio. They also presented a new low-calorie Chardonnay being introduced to the market this spring.
A recent article published by France24 broke the unfortunate news that some vineyards are facing their lowest harvests in decades due to extreme changes in weather patterns and climate. “It’s been one of the toughest in our history. We got hit with frost and our yields have been up and down. We were struck with frost in one of our four vineyards. The others were spared, but we’ve seen a strong decline.” said Bousquet.
But the news isn’t all bad. Serrano is optimistic this is an anomaly year and not the new normal, and the quality of what they were able to salvage from the harvest is up to standards. Until then, the Spring 2023 collection from Argentina’s Domaine Bousquet promises to deliver more of what we’ve enjoyed over the course of the last several years, with consistent quality and reasonable prices. Let’s find out.
2020 Domaine Bousquet Gran Organic Cabernet Sauvignon – One of Bousquet’s higher-tier offerings, starring grapes from the original vineyard planted way back in the 1990s. Heavy and slightly jammy courtesy of a 15% Malbec blend-in, the blackberry, black currant, and raspberry notes running throughout is supported by medium acidity and silky tannins, neither of which overstay their welcome. It’s aged 12 months in French oak, but you’d never know it as its impact here is minimal. This is ready to drink now and could turn out to be a surprise party pleaser this summer. A- / $20
2021 Domaine Bousquet Reserve Organic Pinot Noir – A 100% Pinot Noir aged in French oak for 6 to 8 months. Bright and lively with notes of red cherry, strawberry, and a faint trace of red licorice with a few minutes out of the bottle and in the glass. The palate is well-rounded and complex, supported by moderate acidity and fine tannins. A nice hint of fresh raspberry provides some complexity toward the finish. A- / $18
2021 Domaine Bousquet Virgen Red Blend – A hearty blend of 35% Malbec, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 30% Cabernet Franc offering up notes of roasted plum, dark fruit, and tobacco leaf throughout. A light touch of mint appears on both the nose and finish to break up some of the jam-like elements. When it comes to food pairings it’s quite versatile, working well with dishes aimed at both herbivores and carnivores. B+ / $13
2022 Domaine Bousquet Gaia Organic Malbec Nouveau – The Gaia line of Domaine utilizes old-world practices of blending grapes from various vineyards on the estate. This 100% Malbec from the Tupungato, Uco Valley region of Mendoza runs deep with pronounced notes of red fruit through the nose and palate, with sour cherry doing most of the heavy lifting. Very accessible with low acidity and tannins. Not the best representation of Argentina Malbec or the versatile Malbec offerings in Domaine Bousquet’s portfolio, but an approachable starter for newcomers who have yet to try either. B+ / $20
2022 Domaine Bousquet LO CA Chardonnay – A new low-calorie, unoaked Chardonnay offering featuring light melon and lime elements pairing well with the green apple and grassy notes running throughout. Very light and expressive, with just the right amount of acidity. B / $14
NV Domaine Bousquet Charmat Sparkling Rose – Lively with plenty of citrus fruit on the nose and a gentle note of cranberry pulling up from under as it evolves. Quite tart on the palate with just the right level of acidity and a finish full of lemon zest, lime, and apple. A straightforward rose that does the job without complication or anything unwelcome, it’s a bottle that would work well as a partner over an expanded Sunday brunch. B / $13