Herdade da Fonte Coberta

Alicante Bouschet 2013

Last year I wrote about the red Reserva from this producer – a blend of Alicante Bouschet, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon – and was impressed by the quality and value for money. But I had yet to try any of their varietals until now. I’m not generally a fan of reds produced on the hot plains of the Alentejo but tend to make an exception when it comes to the Alicante Bouschet grape, especially when it has been allowed to benefit from at least a few years of bottle-ageing.

Alicante Bouschet does particularly well in the Alentejo and some of the top wines made in the region such as Mouchão from the Reynolds family estate and Moon Harvested from Herdade dos Grous, both made exclusively from this grape, are testament to this.

Alicante Bouschet is one of the few red grapes that actually has red flesh as well as skin and usually produces wines of great body and concentration. However, here we have a wine of surprisingly lighter colour and structure than we would usually associate with it.

This is an elegant wine, medium- to full-bodied with mature jammy notes of wild berries on the nose. Oak is very well integrated with smooth tannins and nice fresh acidity. Excellent value for money at €10.95 (Apolónia).

By Patrick Stuart
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