by | May 24, 2021 | Wine Reviews | 0 comments

Here is a family that has survived multiple challenges, led by Jean Bousquet, a mover and shaker. While he was born in Carcassonne, France, he grew up in Mendoza, Argentina, where he was inspired to continue making great wine. Everyone back home thought he was Fou, Loco, and Crazy, but he proved them wrong. He decided to sell everything he owned in France, including his family’s winery and vineyards near Carcassonne and bought land deep in the Gualtallary Mountains of Argentina in 1997. He eagerly planted grapes and produced his first vintage in 2005. So, maybe he wasn’t just French or crazy; he was a true Latino in his past life with a big set of what we Latines like to call cajones (balls)! Latinos are locos that way.

Why the Gaucho Country?

In As Argentina’s wine industry gained confidence in the 1990s, foreign investment entered the country. Their climatic conditions were excellent, their soils were fertile, and their government was generous. With all these qualities, production focused on quantity, resulting in big, ripe, and juicy wines for mass appeal. It generated attractive revenue in the export market for the country and investors. However, they quickly lost their allure. Argentina soon became a small player in the global wine business, given its potential.

Jean Bousquet was one of many drawn by the growth potential and acceptance of Argentinean wines in the global market. Despite the country’s boom-or-bust economy, it’s primarily the result of investments made and vineyards planted rapidly in the past 20 years. Presently, Argentina is the world’s fifth-largest wine producer after France, Italy, Spain, and the U.S. There are more than 900 wineries, 17,000+ producers, and 20+ million cases exported, resulting in $800+ million in revenue. That’s still very current. Therefore, when Bousquet produced his first vintage in 2005, he transformed his humble winery into a commercial brand that now has a market share in over 30 countries. That’s not just a vision; that’s materialization!

To clarify, Argentina is so exciting to investors like Jean Bousquet because it’s not commercially producer-branded; it’s grape-branded. This means Argentina has never been concerned with creating dominant wine companies like France’s Boisset, Italy’s Antinori, Spain’s Freixenet, or the U.S.’s (dare I say the largest in the world?) E.J. Gallo. Instead, Argentina is grape-branded by Malbec! Importantly, today Argentina is turning a new leaf, like the other wine-producing giants, because the worldwide wine market is just beginning to get competitively heated. Let the races begin!

Location, Location, Location…

That is what Americans say when they are thinking about buying prime real estate. As a result, the story was inspired during a vacation in Argentina’s Mendoza region in the 1990s. In the Tupungato neighborhood of the Uco Valley, Bousquet—whose name is pronounced “boo-SKAY”—discovered 1,000 acres of solitary vineyards on high, arid land. This region is 180 degrees removed from the French city of Carcassonne’s lowland origins. Carcassonne is the IGP experimental classification that surrounds the famous walled city of Carcassonne in southern France’s Languedoc region. The medieval city is one of France’s most visited tourist spots and is the center of an immense wine-producing area.

Mendoza is home to Argentina’s most famous wines and breathtaking views!

Mendoza is home to Argentina’s most famous wines and breathtaking views!

This semi-desert is located on the southern hemisphere of the planet; there is nothing planted there, no water is present above ground, there is no electricity, and there is only one dirt road that leads there. The most northern sub-wine region of the Uco Valley, Tupungato, was where Bousquet was determined to stake his claim. It is one of the more significant subregions in Argentina’s Mendoza, a region that is a global wine powerhouse. Extraordinary wines are created at elevations of 4,000 feet above sea level, where the Gualtallary Mountains have an influence. These wines include full-bodied reds from Malbec, crunchy, age-worthy whites from Torrontes, lively bubbles from Chardonnay, and of course, wild, crispy pinks from Pinot Noir, like this wine under review, Gaia Rose.

The True Natural Cause of Jean Bousquet: The Andes

It’s impossible to wrap up this article without acknowledging the vibrant heartbeat of the burgeoning South American wine industry. The undeniable driving force behind the existence of this industry is none other than the majestic Andes Mountains. These towering giants play a pivotal role in the economies of South American nations. They generously provide water for agriculture and vineyards, offer mineral resources, generate hydroelectric power for domestic needs, and host some of the most critical business hubs on the continent.

Winemaking facility, Courtesy of Domaine Bousquet

Winemaking facility, Courtesy of Domaine Bousquet

Domaine Bousquet has masterfully harnessed the potential of this natural wonder, possibly explaining Jean Bousquet’s audacious choice of a location that many would deem impossible. Here in Tupungato, the northernmost sub-wine region of the Uco Valley, the spirited Pinot Noir grape thrives under Bousquet’s care. While some describe Pinot Noir as a grape with an iron fist in a velvet glove, I prefer to see it as a grape with multiple personalities but a singular soul.

Jean Bousquet Gaia Rose 2020 Tupungato, Uco Valley, Argentina

Undoubtedly, this bottle boasts an exquisite label featuring the Greek Goddess of Earth, Gaea (Gaia). Domaine Bousquet’s intent is clear—to symbolize the region’s purity that allows the creation of this rose from 100% organically grown Pinot Noir. Even before you pour the wine into a glass, the bottle’s color is visually enchanting, resembling the hue of hard candy pink.

Upon the first encounter, the bouquet is strikingly floral, with notes of ripe mountain strawberries, succulent field watermelon, fragrant white flowers, and hints of crushed rocks. Surprisingly dry on the palate, it strikes a harmonious balance between residual sugar and zesty acidity. Flavors of ripe red berries and blood oranges dance on the taste buds, leading to a luscious mid-palate and a stony finish. However, it may fall slightly short in terms of complexity, depth, and length.

Let’s be clear, Gaia Rose is far from being a mediocre wine; it’s good, and its charm is effortless. Perhaps, given Argentina’s relentless pursuit of crafting fewer wines with more character, one might hold slightly higher expectations. Nevertheless, it’s essential to recognize the producer’s aim—to reach a broad audience, and this rose unquestionably delivers plenty of pleasure. If you’re seeking a rose outside of France with a unique twist, Jean Bousquet is your Domaine of choice.

Do you think the face of Argentine Wines is changing or stagnant?

Ciao! I hope you enjoyed the article GAIA ROSE

Please comment below. I Love your feedback. Thank you and remember Taste Small Live Big!

Follow me on Instagram@epicurean.angel

Share This