This is another fabulous red produced by Flavio Pizzato, fifth generation winemaker at the family-run Pizzato winery situated in the Vale dos Vinhedos district of the Serra Gaúcha hills in southern Brazil.
While Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and to a lesser extent Tannat are the red grape ‘workhorses’ of the vineyard here and in the surrounding area, Flavio is not afraid to experiment with lesser known grape varieties.
Here the Alicante Bouschet (a cross between the Grenache and Petit Bouschet varieties) comes from a single mall bloc, producing just 4300 bottles in 2016. Indeed, for several years in the mid 2000’s Pizzato was the only winery in Brazil producing Ali B. The grape is unusual in being one of the ‘teinturier’ varieties – that is, having a deep red flesh – so produces densely coloured wines, with high tannins and concentrated dark fruits.
(In similar vein, some Egiodola grapes are also grown, with a mere 2670 bottles produced in 2016).
Leading Glasgow-based wine critic Tom Cannavan reviewed the Alicante Bouschet 2016 in March 2020. Read his tasting note here: Alicante Bouschet