When thinking about Argentina and wine, it is likely that Malbec first comes to mind. That makes sense! Malbec indeed thrives in Argentina, particularly in Mendoza, and the Malbec here is good, really good. But Malbec is for another day because this region is creating terrific wines beyond Malbec.
I was recently sent several samples from Domaine Bousquet. One of these samples was a Malbec, but the others were a Chardonnay and a Cabernet Sauvignon. But before we get to the wines, let’s address my “more than organic” comment in the title.
This month the #WorldWineTravel writers are led by Camilla Mann of Culinary Cam as we explore Argentina “Beyond Malbec from Mendoza.” The writers will focus on either a Malbec outside of the Mendoza region or a variety other than Malbec from Mendoza. If you scroll to the bottom, you will find my colleagues’ articles on the subject!
These wines were received as media samples, no other compensation was received, and all opinions are our own. The deal is that we only talk about wines we like from companies we respect, regardless of whether we receive the wine as a sample or not.
(You will find some affiliate links here on our website, and if you use them to purchase a wine, we may receive a commission. If you do, we thank you, it helps to support this site.)
If you follow us here at Crushed Grape Chronicles, you know that we lean heavily into sustainable, organic, biodynamic, and regenerative wines. This past year I wrote a piece on Regenerative Organic Certified that Jancis Robinson published as part of her 2022 Wine Writing Competition.
In that piece, I spoke with the 1st two Regenerative Organic Certified wineries in the world, Tablas Creek Vineyard in California and Troon Vineyard in Oregon. Fetzer Vineyards in California became the 3rd winery to achieve this certification, and then Domaine Bousquet was the 4th and the first outside of the US to come into the fold. They achieved this certification in June of 2022.
For more information on Regenerative Organic Certified, visit their site at https://regenorganic.org/
Domaine Bousquet – the history
Domaine Bousquet was founded in 1997 by Jean Bousquet. He had spent much of his life in Carcassone, France, working in the family vineyard. His daughter Anne was born there and grew up helping to tend the family vineyard.
Of course, like many children who grow up in the industry, she left to find her own path, studying Economics and moving to the United States, where she met her husband. Meanwhile, her father was ready to take on an adventure of his own. He sold his holdings in the family winery in France and moved to Argentina, finding remote land high in the Uco Valley near the Chilean border.
Anne and her husband were set to move to Brussels when her father requested some help. They headed to ProWein, the international fair in Germany, to represent the Domaine. They went out on a limb and had a container of wine shipped in so they could sell it by the pallet to interested buyers and get the wine into the marketplace. It worked, and the business began to thrive, and Anne and her family moved to Argentina to work in the business.
When her father retired, he sold much of his land and the winery to Anne, Labid, and his son Guillaume. He kept 99 acres, which he happily tends.
Domaine Bousquet and sustainability
Domaine Bousquet is Argentina’s largest producer of certified organic wines, using its influence as a large company to combat climate change. They joined the Sustainable Wine Roundtable, a coalition of wine industry and environmental organizations looking to “accelerate action.”
You see climate change affecting regions globally, from fires in California, Australia, and Chile to flooding in Germany. Storms like the most recent in New Zealand, then droughts and frost hitting regions later and later each year, are all climate-related. Beyond that, there are issues of labor. The industry must respect and value workers, finding new ways to create community and elevate living standards.
Anne Bousquet, the co-owner of Domaine Bousquet, felt it was essential to find global standards. Domaine Bousquet was one of the 49 founding members of this organization, made up of companies large and small as well as retailers, distributors, and suppliers.
For Domaine Bousquet, organic was never something to achieve to put on the label. This is not about marketing. It’s about doing what is right for the land, people, and planet.
Look at this place though. With the spectacular Andes right above them, how could you stand in this place and not want deeply to care for all this beauty.
Domain Bousquet Reserve Organic Chardonnay 2021
This wine is labeled “Organic,” as this vintage came before they received their Regenerative Organic Certification.
100% Chardonnay, these vineyards are in Argentina, in Mendoza, in the high-altitude Uco Valley, in Tupungato, and in the family-owned estate in the Gualtallary Valley. The vineyard is close to the border with Chile and sits at over 4000 feet in sandy loam soils. Constant breezes through the Andes Mountains keep the vines healthy.
This high in the Andes, the climate is high desert with high diurnal shifts (day to nighttime temperatures). In this desert climate, rainfall is extremely limited, and the vines get their water from their deep roots pulling from the melt-off from the snow in the higher elevations.
This wine is fermented in oak and spends 6 months aging in oak with its lees.
My glass was a bit cold when I tucked my nose in, but even then, there were notes of Meyer lemon, golden apple, Asian pear, tangerine, and starfruit. We paired this with a simple dinner of roasted chicken, a salad, roasted butternuts squash with grilled corn and a bit of butter, and grated aged hard cheese (we used Grano Padano). The wine’s acidity brightens the food, and its warmth makes the flavors meld in your mouth.
14% abv – $18 SRP
Domaine Bousquet Reserve Organic Cabernet Sauvignon 2021
This wine is a Cabernet-driven blend, with 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Malbec. As is the regulation (in most countries and regions), it can be labeled as Cabernet Sauvignon if it is at least 85% of that variety.
As with the Chardonnay, it comes from the Gualtallary Valley at over 4000 feet. The grapes are hand-picked and do a 48-hour cold maceration. It ages 6-8 months in French oak.
This pours a deep ruby red, and the nose is a lush bowl of fresh ripe dark fruits, black plum, cherry, blueberry, and blackberry. All these fruits the kind that are tart but ripe and would drip down your chin, bursting with juice. Notes of dark chocolate and cocoa with a bit of baking spice in the background filled my nostrils. In my mouth, more lush fruit and velvety tannins.
We paired this with bacon-wrapped beef filets, roasted seasoned fingerling potatoes, and green beans. Then we had a chocolate ganache tart for dessert, and the wine paired beautifully with that also.
14.5% abv – $18 SRP
More from the writers at #WorldWineTravel
- Bleu Cheese Sliders + 2019 Pasarina Malbec from Patagonia by Culinary Cam
- Mendoza’s Mairena Sparkling Rosé + Seared Ahi Salad #WorldWineTravel by Wine Predator…Gwendolyn Alley
- Food and Wine of Patagonia by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Stuffed Chilean Peppers with a Patagonian Malbec by Our Good Life
More on wines from Argentina
- Day 10 Argentina Finca Flichman Paisaje de Tupungato Malbec
- Canned Wines from Argentina – Convenience and flavor for a backyard picnic
- Getting Kind of Wild with some Simple Backyard Grilling
More on Regenerative Organic Certified Wines
- Discovering Wine Country – Down the Rabbithole of Biodynamic and Regenerative Viticulture
- Regeneration – Exploring Regenerative Viticulture for WWC22 with Jancis Robinson
- Regenerative Agriculture at Tablas Creek – a meaningful way to farm
- Biodynamics and Troon Vineyard on Discovering Wine Country Season 1
Robin Renken is a wine writer and Certified Specialist of Wine and WSET 3 Certified. She and her husband Michael travel to wine regions interviewing vineyard owners and winemakers and learning the stories behind the glass.
When not traveling they indulge in cooking and pairing wines with food at home in Las Vegas.
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The goal is to make your mouth water and encourage you to create your own “Tempting Spoonfuls.”
What a great article about a winery doing good things for our planet. Thanks for joining the fun, Robin. Love the pairings.
I enjoyed our chat today Robin and learning about these regenerative biodynamic wines. Your pairing sound lovely.
Thanks so much, Wendy! It was great to see you doing so well at the chat. You are an inspiration!