Domaine Bousquet Gaia Malbec Nouveau, Gualtallary, Argentina 2022

Medium ruby-purple color; black cherry, plum, sour cherry, raspberry, blackberry, bubble gum, dried herbs on the nose and palate.

Domaine Bousquet Gaia Malbec Nouveau, Gualtallary, Argentina 2022

Dry; medium, dusty tannins and acidity (3.63 pH). Organically grown with Ecocert certification. Vegan friendly. Made in the style of Beaujolais Nouveau. After hand harvest, whole bunches were kept for 15 days in an oxygen free environment, undergoing carbonic maceration (fermentation begins inside the grape without addition of yeast). Grapes then were gently pressed. This process is common with gamay grapes but not with malbec until Argentine makers discovered how well it can work with their malbec grapes. 14.5% ABV

The 100% malbec grapes come from estate vineyards in the Uco Valley. Near constant breezes from the Andes helps mitigate heat stress in the near-desert environment. Sandy soils result in low fertility and stress the vines—a good thing. The sandy soil provides good drainage. Irrigation comes from groundwater and from snowmelt from the nearby Andes. These conditions allow the vines to grow organically and roots to grow deeper and absorb trace minerals to enhance expression of terroir.

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

Gaia is named for the Earth Mother goddess in Greek mythology. With their Gaia brand, Domaine Bousquet creates non-classic wines. Often with blends, but in this case with carbonic maceration. Carbonic maceration creates wines that are young and lively with vivid expressions of the base fruits. This certainly showcases that quality and opens up a new and exciting avenue for malbec production.

Anne Bousquet, co-owner and founder

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. The climate is very dry, allowing Domaine Bousquet to have excellent water control through drip irrigation using meltwater from nearby Andes Mountains.

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.”

Domaine Bousquet wine team

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 Gaia Malbec Nouveau, Gualtallary, Argentina 2022 is fresh, fruity, youthful. Lively and intense with rich, pure malbec flavors. Organic, vegan friendly, carbonic maceration—a fermentation method increasingly employed in Argentina. This effort’s light, fruity-sweetness and delicious is enough to work as an aperitif. Pair with lamb; roasted or grilled beef, not enough tannic bite to work with heavily marbled cuts; cured meats—salami, prosciutto; chicken. Cheese—asiago, muenster, gouda, brie, gorgonzola, camembert, cheddar. $17-20

Domaine Bousquet website

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