I was looking for something with a bit of richness on the palate to balance with the smoke and spice of my seafood paella. This Malbec-based red blend certainly did the trick.

Mendoza, Argentina is known to create Malbec with freshness and vivacity. Here, the Syrah lended a bit of body, a touch of heat, and the Cabernet just the right amount of herbaceousness. Read on…

About the Wine: Domaine Bousquet 2018 Gaia Malbec Blend

50% Malbec, 45% Syrah, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon

Vineyards: Own Vineyards in Tupungato, Alto Gualtallary. By the foothills of the Andes at 4000 ft. altitude. Gravel and sand Soil.

Winemaking: Manual harvest by 2nd week of April (Syrah), 3rd of April (Malbec) and 4th of April (Cabernet Sauvignon). Cold Maceration for 72 hours. Fermentation with selected yeast at a maximum temperature of 27°C for 12 days. Maceration for 14 days. Aged in French oak for 10 months.

14.5% ABV

Flavor Profile:

Appearance: medium purple

Aroma: Medium aromas of oak/charred wood, black plum, blackberry, black currant, chocolate, white pepper, prune, and tobacco

Palate: The palate is dry—although I do want to make a note that there is just a little bit of R.S. in this wine (3.3 g/L). While this still does qualify it as a dry wine, I want to point out that those with a sensitive palate may be more attune to that R.S. and may feel that wine is off-dry. For me, though I did notice that kiss of R.S., I didn’t find the level—as experienced on the palate (not in the science of the numbers)—high enough to qualify it as an off-dry wine. I just want to throw that out there in full disclosure.

Alcohol is high, there is medium (+) acidity, medium tannin, and a medium (+) body. The flavors are of medium (+) intensity. On the palate you really get a sense of the voluptuousness of those fruit notes, the smoothness of the tannins, and the roundness of the body. NOTE: I highly recommend pouring the wine in a decanter for about an hour to allow the tannins to assimilate.

The flavor profile, much like the aromas, speaks of black fruits, intensifies those smokey/tobacco notes, adds a hint of red spices as well as a bit of leather. The finish is medium (+).

Conclusion: Based on the WSET criteria, I determined that this wine is good, can be enjoyed now, but is certainly able to age further. I think it is that touch of R.S. that does, in fact, keep the tannins and acid in check, lending to that voluptuousness of the fruits I mentioned and the overall round mouthfeel. So, the balance is certainly there. I found a good variety of aroma/flavor categories, spanning into the tertiary, thus I did qualify this wine as complex. The boxes the wine didn’t tick was intensity (namely in the aroma) and the length of finish, which falls shy of long for me, therefore I could not call the wine outstanding or even very good.

All that being said, I enjoyed it. We enjoyed it. We split the bottle over a seafood paella and it was great.

More Info: I received the Domaine Bousquet 2018 Gaia Malbec Blend as a sample. (Cheers!) Price: $20. For more information about Domaine Bousquet and their wine, please visit the Domaine Bousquet website.

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**Please note: all reviews and opinions are my own and are not associated with any of my places of business. I will always state when a wine has been sent as a sample for review. Sending samples for review on my personal website in no way guarantees coverage in any other media outlet I may be currently associated with.**

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