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In Search Of A Teinturier Wine

by Linda Foxworth, Csw, Wset 3

Teinturier grapes are grapes that produce red juice. Most grapes have white flesh and white juice. But the red flesh and juice of the Teinturier grapes is what makes them stand out. Used to add red color to wines, Teinturier translates to 'dyer,' which is exactly their purpose, to dye or color the wine. Because of this purpose, they are found mostly in blends. Of the few that exist the most well-known Teinturier grape is Alicanté Bouschet. Developed in the lab in 1866 by Henri Bouschet, it is a cross between Petit Bouschet and Grenache. Petit Bouschet is also a hybrid developed by Henri's father, Louis Bouschet in 1828. It is a cross between Teinturier du Cher and Aramon. Both grapes are native to France.

Here's where it gets complicated. In Tuscany and Sicily, Granache, known as Garnacha in Spain, goes by the name Alicanté. (In Sardegnea Grenache is called Cannonau.) In Spain Alicanté Bouschet is called Garnacha Tintorera.

So if you see the name Alicanté on the label and the wine is from Tuscany or Sicily, then you probably have a Grenache or Garnacha, not a Teinturier grape, although Alicanté can also be used for Alicanté Bouschet, a Teinturier grape. If you see Alicanté Bouschet on the label, then you have a Teinturier grape. If you see Garnacha Tintorera on the label, then you have Alicanté Bouschet, a Teinturier grape.

But if that's not challenging enough, remember that Petit Bouschet and Teinturier du Cher are also Teinturier grapes. Teinturier du Cher has over 30 synonyms including Pontac, Noir d'Orléans, and Uva Tinta.

There are also other cross-bred Teinturier grapes developed by the Bouschet family such as Morastel Bouschet, Carignan Bouschet and Grand Noir De La Calmette. There is a family of Gamay Teinturier grapes including Gamay du Bouze. Teinturiers can also be found in Germany (Dunkelfelder) and Georgia (Saperavi).

However, if you are on the hunt for a Teintuier wine, your best bet is to be on the look out for Alicanté Bouschet. Just make sure the last name is included.

About the Author

Linda Foxworth, Csw, Wset 3 - Linda Foxworth, CSW, WSET 3, works in the wine industry and makes her home in Reno Nevada.

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