Looking for an organic, vegan wine to add to your wine cellar? Look no further than Domaine Bousquet – this family-owned winery is one of Argentina’s leaders in organic wine production. Located in the province of Tupangato (Uco Valley) in the foothills of the Andes, Domaine Bousquet combines Old World and New World characteristics for a unique bottle that is a credit to the newest generation of Argentine wines.
A Family Affair
The combination of Old and New World influences in this wine stem from the European origins of the Domaine’s founder, Jean Bousquet. Hailing from Southern France, where an illustrious wine tradition was already in place, Bousquet began traveling the world in 1990 to find a new locale for his wine production. He soon found it in Argentina, specifically in Mendoza, and in 1998, he purchased the land upon which Domaine Bousquet was founded.
Image care of Domaine Bousquet
As the land was virgin when Bousquet began, the family had an incredible opportunity from the get-go to create a certified organic vineyard while also improving the land’s biodiversity through their agricultural choices.
"We believe that the healthier the vineyard, the better the fruit and of course the wine," the winemakers write. "In other words, by nourishing the land, and treating it with respect, we know that the land will give us back its finest fruits."
The winery is now run by Bousquet’s daughter Anne and her husband, Labid Al Ameri, who took over the family legacy in 2005.
The Terroir of Mendoza
The wines made at Domaine Bousquet hail from 265 hectares of vines planted at an altitude of 4,000 feet above sea level: the highest wine region in Argentina. The fresh, dry air and cool climate allow for nicely structured wines with great acidity.
The importance of terroir is common in discussing French wines, but it's just as important to these transplanted winemakers, who seek to make wines that bring out the best in the land that they have chosen.
"There is typically very little rainfall throughout the year, and the primary source of moisture comes from the constant runoff of melting snow in the Andes," explains Al Ameri. "The soil in this region is a mixture of stone, clay and sand which naturally assists with water drainage and the elimination of disease. It is all of these environmental factors that make this area the ideal location to produce organic wine when compared to other places in the world.”
Vegan Wine: A Bottle for Every Price Point
Alongside several other vegan winemakers, such as France's Domaine du Tariquet, Domaine Bousquet uses a carbon and bentonite fining system, making the organic wine deliciously vegan too. Within this somewhat niche market, Domaine Bousquet produces several different tiers of varietals, allowing the winemakers to cater to a variety of different tastes.
Image care of Domaine Bousquet
"The entry-level tier of wines is fruit driven with low oak contact and this produces a truly fruit forward wine," explains Al Ameri. Several different wines from this price point are available in the States, including the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon. On the palate, the wine has ripe, concentrated fruit flavors and a hint of black pepper and tobacco. The 2015 Chardonnay, meanwhile, has concentrated fruit flavors like apple, pear, and lime, with a slightly sweet, spicy edge. The single-varietal nature of these wines highlights the New World sensibilities of these winemakers.
The Reserve wines, meanwhile, have a larger oak presence. "These wines have been aged for 10 months in French oak and the wines are silky and velvety in style," says Al Ameri. "We monitor the oaking process to guarantee that the oak doesn’t overpower the purity of the fruit." This balance, then, allows these wines to be enjoyed by a wider variety of palates.
The organic, vegan wine made by Domaine Bousquet is an inspiration for winemakers seeking to get back in touch with the earth. The result of their hard work is a product that eco-conscious individuals can feel good about and enjoy.
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