The leading exporter of organic wine in Argentina, Domaine Bousquet was founded by Languedoc-Roussillon winemaker, Jean Bousquet in 1997. While on holiday in Argentina seven years earlier, Bousquet discovered what was then the virgin territory of Gualtallary, which he considered to be the perfect terroir for growing organic grapes.
Over the next few years, Bousquet sold his Pennautier-based winery and vineyards and invested in just under 1,000 acres of what was technically a dessert. After much ridicule and disbelief – and two years digging for water – the first Domaine Bousquet vines were planted. The first vintage wasn’t released until 2005, by with time the vineyard comprised just 173 acres, but the winery has continued to produce organic, high-altitude wines.
Since 2011, Domaine Bousquet has been owned and run by Jean Bousquet’s daughter, Anne Bousquet, and her husband, Labid Al Ameri, who have continued to prioritise sustainability, both environmental and economic, and today Domaine Bousquet comprises 667 acres of vineyards.
Now available in the UK, the Domaine Bousquet Finca Lalande Malbec 2020 pays homage to the both the founder’s French roots and the terroir of the Tupungato district of Mendoza’s Uco Valley; specifically, the Alto Gualtallary Valley. At up to 5,249 feet, the Alto Gualtallary Valley lies at the very limits of viticultural possibility, in terms of altitude, remoteness, and absence of water. This inhospitable terroir is ideal for organic viticulture, with 100 per cent of the winery’s vineyards having been certified organic from the very beginning.
Made from 100 per cent Malbec grapes sourced from the estate’s Alto Gualtallary vineyards, Domaine Bousquet Finca Lalande Malbec 2020 is a rich, medium bodied Argentinian wine. On the nose, intense fig aromas join some raspberry jam, black cherry, liquorice, cinnamon, and a whisper of leather. Juicy fruit notes of plum, blueberry, blackberry, black cherry, and cranberry dominate on the palate, complete with a feint black pepper note, plus fresh acidity and elegant tannins. Some earthy savours also prevail on the finish, balancing some of those rich fruit notes. A wine with plenty of finesse, even more impressive when considering its price point.
Domaine Bousquet Finca Lalande Malbec 2020 available from Waitrose, £10.49.