Terra d'Alter Alicante Bouschet 2019
The color is purple-red. Very dense and dark. Intense notes of dark fruit and spice with a floral nuance. Plums and prune notes, great acidity and structure. Silky and rich tannins. Very long and rich finish with notes of chocolate and vanilla.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The 2019 Terra d'Alter AB Alicante Bouschet was aged for six months in used American oak and comes in at 14.8% alcohol. This is classic Alicante at a very nice price, delivering a lot for the modest money. It has good structure, fine depth and expressive fruit. There is grip and flavor on the finish. This is a fine overachiever that makes me want to lean up on it for the moment. In fact, it has a pretty good track record of holding well. It's a lot of wine for the money, and it will last long enough to justify buying a few extra bottles to sock away.
The Alentejo is the most southerly Portuguese region from which we buy wine, with the attendant risk of excessive heat. But that is not to reckon with the instincts and 35-year experience of Peter Bright, the celebrated Australian who is one of the founding partners of this young estate. One of the first of the "Flying Winemakers," he has been settled in Portugal for many years now and arguably has more experience of the country's varied vineyards than anyone else, allied to a top-notch technical know-how. He liked the soils of this corner and planted his flag here, with a view to making good value, modern wines from indigenous varieties. He has succeeded with a vengeance, so you can find in this range a brilliant collage of single varietal wines that offer you a fascinating view of some of Portugal's most interesting varieties.
Responsible for a majority of Portugal’s fine wine production—and over half of the world’s cork production—Alentejo represents a major force in Portugal’s wine industry. This southern Portugese region is characterized by stretches of rolling plains and vineyards dotted with majestic cork oaks. Access to land enables the farmers of Alentejo to produce wines in great economies of scale, without compromising quality, compared to those regions to the north. The region of Alentejo indeed covers a third of the country.
Its classified (DOP) wines must come from one of eight subregions, where elevations are a bit higher, air cooler and less fertile soils are perfect for vines. The optimal regions are Portalegre, Borba, Redondo, Reguengos de Monsaraz, Granja-Amareleja, Vidigueira, Evora and Moura. Alentejo is not without the conveniences of modern winemaking as well. Irrigation supplements low rainfall and temperature control in the winery assures high quality wines.
The potential of the area has attracted many producers and its wine production continues to grow. Alentejo’s charming, fruit-forward wines have naturally led to local and global popularity.
White wines tend to be blends of Antão Vaz, Roupeiro and Arinto. However, in growing proportions, the white grapes Verdelho, Alvarinho and Viognier have been enjoying success. But red varieties actually exceed whites in Alentejo. Aragonez, Trincadeira, Alicante Bouschet and Castelão grapes blend well together and are responsible for most of the Alentejo reds.
The most famous of the rare, red-fleshed grape varieties, Alicante Bouschet is known as a Teinturier grape. While most red grapes have red skin but clear flesh or pulp, the French, Alicante Bouschet and the Georgian (country) variety called, Saperavi, both have red. These make intensely hued, full-bodied red wines that take to oak well and can stand some time in the cellar. Somm Secret—While originally the product of a French crossing (Petit Bouschet and Grenache) of the late 1800s, today Alicante Bouchet grows widely in Spain and is gaining notoriety in Portugal.