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Alicante Henri Bouschet grapes

by | Dec 22, 2017

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Alicante Henri Bouschet is a wine grape variety which is broadly cultivated since 1866. It is a cross between Petit Bouschet and Grenache.

Alicante Henri Bouschet grapes

Alicante is a tenturier, a red-fleshed grape variety and one of the few tenturier grapes that belongs to Vitis Vinifera.

It is the twelfth most planted red wine grape in France with huge number of plantings in Languedoc, Provence and Cognac regions.

The deep color of grapes is useful for blending with light red wine and was massively planted during Prohibition in California for export to the East Coast.

Wines with Alicante Henri Bouschet grapes

History of Alicante Henri Bouschet

In Domaine de la Calmette, Henri Bouschet created different varieties by breeding Gernache and Petit Bouschet and that is Alicante Henri Bouschet variety.

Alicante Henri Bouschet and Alicante Bouschet number 1 were created in 1855, while Alicante Bouschet numbers 2, 5, 6, 7, 12 and 13 were obtained in the year 1865.

According to Henri, all of the created varieties were similar to each other, but produce wines of different qualities.

Alicante Henri Bouschet disappeared at the end of the nineteenth century, however, because Alicante Henri Bouschet was difficult to distinguish from Alicante Bouschet number 2; similar but distinct varieties are now mixed in vineyards.

Since Alicante Henri Bouschet was used to cross a host of other red-fleshed varieties, the only left cultivated is the Odessky Cherny.

Characteristics of Alicante Henri Bouschet

It is known as red-fleshed grape variety, which are early budding and early to mid ripening and for these reasons, it is prone to spring frosts.

During dry climates, harvest of grapes is moderate yet persistent. Aside from that, Alicante is very sensitive to wind and drought and invulnerable to powdery mildew but prone to downy mildew as well as phomopsis, flavescence doree and bacterial diseases. It has two variations such as colorless flesh and hairy leaves.

Wine grape varieties

Wines of Alicante Henri Bouschet

Majority plantings of Alicante Henri Bouschet are in south, from the Lot-et-Garonne in the west to the Drome in the east as well as in the north – Jura and Val de Loire.

Wines produced from this red-fleshed variety are deeply colored. When harvest is under control, Alicante can create soft, fruity, fresh and balanced wines.

Also, Alicante has been covering up huge areas in Portugal wherein producers take the variety seriously and produce extraordinary, intensely colored and intensely fruity varietal wines.

Food Pairings

The soft, fruity, fresh and balanced wines from Alicante Henri Bouschet match with different foods such as Doner kebab, red peppers stuffed with beef and roasted suckling pork with tamarillo sauce.

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Michael Bredahl

Michael Bredahl

Wine Writer

Michael is an online enthusiast, with a lot of knowledge about online marketing. Traveling around the world to hunt for the perfect wine. Latest on Sicily, where Etna has a huge impact on the taste, which is strong with a bitter aftertaste for the youngest wines, but older wines are fantastic. Drinking wine, and writing about them, are one the passions. Remember to drink responsibly 🙂

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