Terra d'Alter, Telhas Tinto has a strong red colour but with an intense, youthful purple core. The nose is perfumed with violets, black fruit of brambles and plums. This sits in perfect harmony after the extended aging with ground pepper, a roasted meatyness and fresh tarmac. There are exotic flavours of oriental spices and wood with an undercurrent of ripe red and black fruits. The finish is savoury with tobacco, leather, cedar and vanilla.
|Grape||95% Syrah, 5% Viognier
|Style||Dry, Red, Full Bodied, Red Fruit, Spice, Smooth, Elegant, Complex, Structured, Food Friendly,|
Vineyard and Winery
The Syrah and Viognier grapes for Terra d'Alter Telhas Tinto are planted on the top ridge of the producer's Antas vineyard. This is a probable site of a Roman Villa as this block is littered with terracotta tile fragments hence the name 'Telhas' which is Portuguese for roof tiles. The 5% of Viognier grapes are co-fermented with the Syrah using indigenous yeast in small open tanks with the cap submerged frequently to extract colour and tannin. The fermentation was finished in new American oak barrels with battonage (lees stirring) followed by malolactic fermentation and 24 months’ maturation.
About the Producer
The Alto Alentejo is a high-quality wine-producing region two hours’ drive inland from Lisbon where vineyards date back to Roman times. The landscape is mainly flat with some hills and is characterised by distinctly Mediterranean edaphoclimatic conditions, though some areas have a continental microclimate. Its soils are notable for their diversity, ranging from the granitic soils of Portalegre and the calcareous and crystalline soils of Borba to the brown and red soils of Évora, Granja/Amareleja and Moura and the slate soils of Redondo, Reguengos and Vidigueira.
The Terra d’Alter vineyards are structured according to the new world approach, designed with the assistance of the University of Fresno, California. The vines are planted using modern training and irrigation techniques, facilitating treatment and ensuring quality. They cover extensive plains and gentle hills, always providing intense exposure to sunlight which assists the grapes’ development, maturation and quality. Many indigenous varieties are grown plus international varieties such as Viognier.
Peter Bright is the oenologist. Peter is the original ‘flying winemaker’, a dynamic and enterprising Australian who has lived in Portugal since 1982, his motto is “experiment, but don’t mix styles”.
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