Domaine Bousquet Alavida Malbec, Tupungato 2022

Medium purple color; blackberry, plum, dark cherry; dark plum, blackberry, blackcurrant; mocha, oak spice on the palate.

Domaine Bousquet Alavida Malbec, Tupungato 2022

Dry; mild tannins and acidity. Dark, sour cherry, blackcurrant bite, and plum predominate in a somewhat one-dimensional play on the palate. Full body. Manual harvest, fermented 12 days in temperature-controlled stainless steel. No sulfites added, earning USDA organic certification.

“Alavida” is Spanish toast “To Life!” and is similar to the Hebrew toast “L’Chaim!” It is an invitation for people to come together and share in the simple joys of good food and good wine. Versions of this toast in assorted languages make up the label. This is a rare Argentine organic kosher malbec, a very rare combination of designations. Certified organic by Ecocert. 14.5% ABV

Domaine Bousquet winery, vineyard, with Andes Mountains in the background (the snow melt provides the water for drip irrigation)

The Bousquet family has four generations of winemaking experience. They arrived in Mendoza, Argentina, from France in 1990 and fell in love with the possibilities. They purchased land in the foothills of the Andes in 1997 in the Tupungato Valley, elevation 4,000 feet, one of the higher altitude vineyards in Argentina and the world. They also embraced organic winemaking in their new home. The climate is very dry, allowing Domaine Bousquet to have excellent water control through drip irrigation using meltwater from nearby Andes Mountains.

Domaine Bousquet wine team

The winery is one of the world’s most-awarded, fully-organic operations. As their website states: “We are dedicated to farming organically while improving our land’s biodiversity. We believe that the healthier the vineyard, the better the fruit and of course the wine. In other words, by nourishing the land and treating it with respect, we know that the land will give us back its finest fruits.” And: “Organic crops are grown in harmony with nature without using any chemicals such as pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers. Organic agriculture uses natural fertilizers such as compost.”

The Bronco Wine Company is the U.S. distributor. Bronco is a major U.S. wine maker—best known for “Two Buck Chuck”—but they also represent more serious brands, such as this one, and have a long history of distributing imported wines in the U.S. The big advantage for Domaine Bousquet is Bronco’s very robust distribution capabilities in the U.S.

Domaine Bousquet winery

Domaine Bousquet Alavida Malbec 2022 flaunts dark fruits in a brooding iteration of Argentine malbec. Some bite and sourness give distinction to this relatively one-dimensional effort, but it certainly is solid wine. That said, it is not a tasty, smooth, easy drinker—and there is a clear place for that in the wine world, especially paired with assertive beef cuisine. It also is distinctive because it is a very rare—maybe the only—certified organic, kosher, Argentine malbec. Pair with beef; roast lamb; stuffed bell peppers; poultry. Cheese—asiago, muenster, gouda, brie, gorgonzola, camembert, cheddar. $17-18

Domaine Bousquet website

Domaine Bousquet barrel room
Domaine Bousquet entrance
Domaine Bousquet aerial view of winery
Domaine Bousquet harvest