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Here's what says about the varietal:

"A cross between the grapes Grenache and Petit Bouschet (which itself is a cross of ancient French varietals), Alicante Bouschet is known more for its color than any interesting flavors or aromas. Called a teinturier (literally translated as “dyer”) as it is one of few grapes that has a naturally pigmented juice, this grape is often used to add tannins and depth of color to blends of other grapes. Alicante Bouschet has a thick skin and high production. With the right care it has light, fruity aromas of red currants, leather and spices.

"Created in France in the 19th century, today the Alicante Bouschet can be found in France, the Galicia region of northwest Spain and the Alentejo region of southern Portugal. A few growers in California treat the Alicante Bouschet as a premium varietal, with mixed results."

I seem to recall that Heitz used to make a wine from this varietal back in the 60s or 70s, and Angelo Papagni, a winery in Madera in the Central Valley area of California (not known for fine wines) made several well-received bottling in the 1970s. This outfit still makes it, but Fresno isn't exactly Napa:

Today the grape seems to be back to its roots -- just a blending grape used for color.
I can find references to this wine as recently as the 2005 vintage. Apparently it is not imported into the States. According to what I've read, this particular bottling is actually produced as a rosé. Unusual, as this grape is one of the few, as Doug references, that actually has red fruit. It's used to add color and tannin to wines as a blending grape. The descriptions of the wine refer to it as a kind of quaffer, and recommend drinking it "very cold." I'd suggest you find a local wine store and ask for some recommendations for a good rosé, and experiment around a little bit.

I worked for a Portuguese wine distributor for some time and one of our wines (which I relaly loved) was a single varietal Alacante Bouschet. The wine had beautiful color and a lot of interesting floral, red fruit and light spice notes with great balance and concentrated flavors.

The producer was Encostas de Estremoz located in Alentejo (Southern Portugale). Encostas de Estremoz made a handful of interesting single varietals (the Touriga Franca and Touriga Nacional were incredible) and all were under $20 at retail.

If you can't track down the one you had, I suggest trying this one! The importer was Luso Imports ( - you might try contacting them to find out where it's on the shelves (Virgina based company)
rockford are still alive and kicking. you'll find there website at <> not that it at all helpful. this is mainly because the winery has an ethos of preserving the 'traditional' winemaking ways of the barossa valley and still use old basket presses (ala their premier shiraz 'the basket press'). the alicante bouchet rose you talk of is a little gem but a bit hard to track down. indeed it can be bought from the cellar door and a few wine outlets. i would suggest contacting east end cellars in adelaide as they may have it (even if its not listed on their website). hope that helps out

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