Carrying on with the release overview of Domaine Bousquet’s output for this year, this time taking a closer examination of its Gaia portfolio. So, what differentiates the Gaia line from its siblings? First and foremost, they are 100% organic. The grapes are grown at a cooler altitude (1,200 meters) by the foothills of the Andes in a cooler range of temperatures, allowing for better grape development. The wines are aged in French oak barrels anywhere between 8 to 10 months. In a prior review this spring, we put the spotlight on the Gaia Malbec Nouveau, and today we take a look at the line’s Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, a red blend, and a non-Nouveau Malbec.
2020 Domaine Bousquet Gaia Cabernet Franc – Big aromas of fresh raspberry and cola emerge after a brief decant. It’s medium-bodied but well-balanced, with mild acidity and tannins carrying the raspberry forward along with slight touches of smoke, oak, and black tea. The finish amplifies the oak towards the end, and there’s a surprising touch of green pepper as things settle. Complex, it’s one to quietly sit with for a spell. A- / $20
2019 Domaine Bousquet Gaia Malbec – A classically constructed Malbec, presenting rich and immersive notes of blackberry, blueberry, and violet throughout. It develops a slight edge over time, bringing out slight notes of minerality and black currant against the darker fruit background. A long and quite warming finish makes this an ideal Malbec to put away for a few months and enjoy during a cooler autumn evening. A- / $20
2019 Domaine Bousquet Gaia Cabernet Sauvignon – A Cabernet that shows its charms immediately in the glass with bright aromas of black cherry rising before being balanced out with notes of red berry and a slight touch of fresh oregano. It builds intensity throughout the palate and provides a lingering finish with mild minerality and just a touch of pepper. B+ / $20
2020 Domaine Bousquet Gaia Red Blend – A blend of 50% Malbec, a somewhat surprising 45% Syrah, and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Domaine Bousquet doesn’t feature many Syrah-based offerings, limited only to one or two expressions in its Ameri lineup. This blend of two grapes tempers darker fruit elements commonly found in Malbec and elevates notes of Bing cherry and plum. It is quite big and fruit at first but eventually finds its footing, finishing with a generous amount of heat and spice. B / $20