Colin Burbidge, of Lancashire Wine School, writes about tasting at DVino by an Argentinian vineyard.
I attended a tasting recently at DVino by Domaine Bousquet from Argentina. This winery in the foothills of the Andes lays claim to be the most awarded organic winery in the world.
The definition of ‘Organic Wine’ depends on where in the world it is produced and sold.
In Europe you may see one of two label definitions. Until 2012 you would only have seen ‘Wine from Organically Grown Grapes’, since some processes employed in the winery may have been non-organic. Since 2012 the term ‘Organic Wine’ has been introduced for wines produced from organically grown grapes even though some additives are still used in the winery, though permitted sulphur dioxide levels are much lower.
In the vineyard no synthetic fertilisers, pesticides or herbicides can be used. To obtain the organic certificate a vineyard must be demonstrably free of these substances for three years.
Eclio Dumon from Domaine Bousquet answered a question I’m often asked about organic wine ‘not causing hangovers’. His answer was the same as mine, hangovers are caused by too much alcohol consumption the night before, and it really doesn’t matter what the source is.
However, organic wine will be lower in sulphites, so if you are sensitive to them then you are less likely to get a reaction, or at least that the reaction may be less severe.
We tasted a range of wines from Domaine Bousquet, all available at DVino.
The Bousquet vineyards are in Mendoza, in the ‘foothills’ of the Andes at an impressive 1,200 metres. Most of Argentina is too hot for wine production but Mendoza, with its high-altitude benefits, from the cooler temperatures.
First up was the Bousquet Sparkling made from the traditional Champagne grapes Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. This is a nice fresh alternative to champagne, less yeasty and more fruit both green apple and tropical.
The Bousquet Chardonnay once again fresh, unoaked with juicy tropical fruit, peach and a hint of apple.
Mendoza, of course, is all about the Malbec grape. This native of south-west France known there to produce rustic full-bodied tannic red wines seems to have been tamed by the Mendoza altitude.
The Bousquet Malbec at £13.99 featured at one of our recent Cheese & Wine evenings and went down a treat with Barber’s 1833 Vintage Cheddar from Booth’s. The wine is matured for six months in second use French oak to give subtle oak flavours, but the big story here is big juicy plum fruit. Easy to drink on its own but great with red meat or cheese.
The Malbec Reserve at £17.99 is a blend with small amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah and aged in oak for 10 months. Intense red fruits and some fig, a complex wine.
The star of the show was Bousquet Ameri at £26.99. Another blend from the Ameri vineyard with 65 per cent Malbec and 10-12 months new French oak ageing. It’s intensely fruity with leather, pencil-lead and slightly smoky flavours, and peppery with a finish that goes on and on. A real treat.