Domaine Bousquet Reserve Malbec, Argentina $17
This may be one of the wine world’s great values.
I am typically not that taken by the Malbec Madness that has swept the consumer wine world. I often find them lush, ripe, but a bit one dimensional. Typically, they over oaked and not offering much in the way of complexity or even variety. It seems like with many Malbecs it’s either all fruit, or all black pepper. Either, or.
The Malbecs of Argentina are typically grown in the Mendoza region, where in the foothills of the Andes the wines are grown at high altitude. The altitude at play with the warm temperatures have come to mark this part of Argentina as one of the world’s consistently great wine producing regions. The soils, largely alluvial, and sandy combine with the climate to create some very fruit forward wines. But at Domaine Bousquet, things are a little different for Mendoza.
Located in Mendoza’s subregion of Tupungato, Alto Gualtallary is one of the coolest locations for growing vines in Argentina and is home to unique, chalky soils that have more in common with Burgundy and Champagne than with Mendoza. The operation at Bousquet is also focused on organics and the family has a long history of winemaking in Southern France. They have come to learn over time the importance of the vineyard and terroir in the making of great wines.
The Domaine Bousquet Reserve Malbec is next level in terms of its deliciousness, it drinks like an aged Old World wine, as opposed to a one to two year old South American standard bearer. It is different in terms of its aromatic complexity, much more reminiscent of the Northern Rhone Syrahs or perhaps even something out of Burgundy. This may be the only really elegant Malbec I’ve ever had (my experience though is still limited). The aromas are earthy, mineral driven and even offer hints of mushroom and peat. The palate is elegant and easily drinks at something three to four times its price. Flavors offer dried fig, blackberry preserve, turned earth and streaks of minerality. The finish heightens the flavor profile and offers outstanding acidity.
Pairing Picks: This is a wine of elegance yet it can certainly stand up to more traditional fare that you might pick out for Malbec. Grilled meats, particularly flank steak with chimichurri, as well as grilled pork loin and even a dish often thought of as a match for Pinot Noir, roasted duck breast with plum sauce; would pair well with this wine with one foot in Old World elegance, and the other in the New World lushness that one typically expects to find in Mendoza.