Welcome to the June edition of the l’Art du Vin wine club!
This month, we have opted for a comparative case, taking two estates on either side of globe and pitting their wines against each other.
Both Domaine Canet and Domaine Bousquet are the result of people uprooting their family and travelling to a new area to pursue their winemaking dreams.
In the case of our good friend Floris Lemstra, he left his life as a wine merchant in Holland to settle in the France and achieve his ambition of running his own estate. It’s a true family affair, with his children Olivier and Charlotte now involved at various stages of the winemaking process.
The organic estate of Domaine Bousquet in Mendoza has a similar backstory, with the family originally basing their winemaking business in the southwest of France before a trip to Argentina changed their trajectory.
Both produce what I would describe as a versatile, modern-style Chardonnay. After a (quite-literal) hangover following a boom in popularity in the mid-late 90s, sales of Chardonnay have been steadily rising again and we have recently seen a real surge in the enquiries for this particular style – unoaked and fresh, with juicy acidity. These wines are real all-rounders – adaptable with all manner of dishes but equally at home when consumed on their own.
I hope that you enjoy the selection – ideally suited to the weather we have been blessed with recently!
As always, many thanks for your continued support. We are always open to any feedback you have so please do feel free to get in touch.
Domaine Canet, Languedoc, France
Château Canet is a family run wine and olive domaine in the appellation of Minervois. Winemaker and owner Floris Lemstra tends to his 45 hectares estate following the principles of ‘Terra Vitis’, promoting sustainability throughout his vineyard. In order to further boost the ecosystem across his land, Floris maintains a 3 hectare olive grow alongside a vast wild pine forest.
If you see the ‘Terra Vitis’ symbol on a bottle of wine, it is a good indication that the producer works in a sustainable manner with utmost respect for their land. Founded more than 25 years ago in the Beaujolais region, today the Terra Vitis association is one of the most respected certifications within the wine sector, and the only recognised organisation for sustainable viticulture in France.
Producers must follow a strict list of specifications to achieve this certification, with each of their decisions taken in order to achieve the best possible balance between respect for the environment, for society as a whole, and for the economic sustainability of wine estates. The Terra Vitis growers’ goal can be described as a commitment to making quality wine, in the best possible way, now and in the future.
The Domaine Canet range, produced using Floris’ sustainable fruit, is dedicated to showcasing single-varietal wines using grape varieties that aren’t typically permitted as part of the Minervois appellation.
Expect subtle aromas of white flowers, followed by a well-balanced palate of fleshy stone fruit and bright acidity.
Very enjoyable on its own – ideally accompanied by some sunshine! A great partner to sushi and shellfish, like langoustines, clams and mussels, or flaky white fish.
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This is a slightly fresher style of Malbec, focussing on fresh fruit qualities rather than an abundance of savoury notes. A refreshing nose packed with violets and jasmine leads to a rich, ripe palate dominated by blackberries and cherries.
A truly versatile all-rounder! Smooth and silky when enjoyed without food but equally at home alongside steak, ratatouille or even heavier fish dishes.
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Domaine Bousquet, Mendoza, Argentina
The Bousquet family hail from the city of Carcassonne, in the South of France and are 4th generation winemakers. In 1990, they began to explore the idea of leaving behind their vineyard in France to travel and explore opportunities further afield. On one particular trip to Argentina, they fell in love with Mendoza, intrigued by combination of soil variation, altitude and terroir on offer.
In 1997, they took the decision to permanently relocate, buying a parcel of land in the Gualtallary Valley in Tupungato, in the foothills of the Andes. The site is defined by its altitude, with the majority of the vines at around 1,200 metres!
The key objective of the Bousquet family was to unite their tradition of European wine with these unique conditions and produce wines that speak of their terroirs.
The resulting range spans a number of different grape varieties yet maintains the Bousquet hallmarks throughout – vibrant colour, delicious organically-produced fruit, good structure with ripe tannins and perfect acid balance.
The grapes benefit from major diurnal temperature swings, achieving exuberant ripeness while retaining the juiciness and, crucially, acidity, that allows us to enjoy more than one glass!
Chardonnay ‘Premium’ 2021
Their Chardonnay is unoaked, with the grapes fermented in stainless steel in contact with lees.
On the nose, it offers aromas of tropical fruits, backed up by citrus and floral notes. The palate contains concentrated notes of peach and green apple along with the classic Bousquet hallmark of zingy, fresh acidity.
Ideal to drink as an aperitif or with seafood, fish or goats cheese.
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Malbec ‘Premium’ 2022
The ’Premium’ Malbec is fermented in stainless steel tanks to preserve its varietal typicity and achieve a fruity and expressive character.
It is a wine of dark violet colour, with intense aromas of blackberry, blackcurrant and plum.
Expect a soft, velvety mouthfeel with notes of ripe plums and elegant tannins.
A good counterpart to red meats, hard cheese or rich pasta dishes.
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