Over the course of the six weeks that I traveled through Argentina last year, I tasted and experienced many different wines from that beautiful country. From a Blind Wine Tasting Adventure in the Palermo neighborhood of Buenos Aires hosted by Buenos Aires Art Tours to an actual off-the-beaten-path adventure to the highest winery in the world at Bodega Colomé in the Salta Province of northern Argentina, I saw a lot of what Argentine wine has to offer the world. South American wine in general has “shown up” recently in global markets, and the results are impressive. Not many regions in the world can boast some of the best economical bottles, while also offering top-quality products at the higher ends that can compete with any of the quality international favorites.
One region I was not able to see while trekking across the northern unpaved portions of Ruta 40 through charming little roadside towns like Cachi, Molinas, Cafayate, and Tolar Grande (the latter being one of the most remote places I have ever been), was the infamous Argentine wine region of Mendoza. Though I was able to see many of the smaller boutique and corporate wineries that sprinkle the landscape of Salta, timing did not allow a visit further south, where Malbec reclaimed its glory far from its home in Cahors, France.
Recently, I had the good fortune of stumbling upon a fantastic Argentine label out of Mendoza. The Domaine Bousquet winery, which produces this label, is a fully organic estate that is located in the Tupungato zone in Mendoza. The Bousquet family, originally from the South of France, boasts four generations in the wine making business. They settled in Mendoza with the goal of producing top-quality wines in the New World, and I can honestly say that Anne Bousquet and her husband Labid al Ameri have succeeded in creating a wine worth exploring more of Argentine wine country for during the next visit.
Gaia Red & White Blends
“Gaia” is the earth goddess, according to ancient Greek mythology, and it’s a fitting name considering the organic practices of the estate. Domaine Bousquet produces both a lovely white and red blend that cater to any wine-drinking palate.
The white blend is a tantalizing mix of Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, and Sauvignon Blanc at 50%, 35%, and 15%, respectively. The Chardonnay gives the wine a beautiful golden-yellow hue and some weight to the body, while the Sauvignon Blanc adds a touch of tropical fruit sweetness to the mix. Big apple and dried peach fruit flavors, and a hint of spice from some oak aging make this medium-bodied delight a perfect pairing for a heavy pasta dish and seafood.
If bold, purple wines are your go-to, then you must try the Gaia red blend. A perfect melding of Malbec, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon at 50%, 45%, and 5%, respectively. Juicy black fruits dance through your palate, and are accompanied by perfectly proportional spice and tannins. A great balance for this bold blend makes it a sip-worthy wine for a cool night, or a great complement to a heavy cheese, lomo a la parrilla, or dark chocolate dessert.
Aside from the fantastic quality of these two wines, the presentation of the label is part of what makes these bottles so desirable. Any dinner party host knows that the look of the bottle is almost just as important as what is inside while it sits on the table waiting for indulging guests, so give them something to see! Gaia presents well with a beautiful profile of a goddess, as this wine definitely was created through the harmony of heaven and earth.