Saturday 1st July 2017 : "Go Brazil...!" with Claire & Mike in Solihull
Our third and possibly final 'SWAS Away Day' in the Midlands. All wines this evening were chosen and recommended by a specialist Brazilian wine importer, 'Go Brazil Wines & Spirits (UK) Ltd.' , Nicholas Corfe, their Commercial Director, has been incredibly helpful in suggesting and supplying the wines for this Tasting.
This SWAS event was something of an experiment which, hopefully, gave us all some new tasting experiences...! Your feedback (good or bad) would be much appreciated. (Details of the importers, for general information, are at the bottom of this page).
1. Amadeu Brut Champenoise, 2014; Rio Grande do Sul; 80% Chardonnay, 20% Pinot Noir; 12.5% abv; £17 per bottle
Traditional Method sparkler, this is a blend of 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir. Made in the most southerly state of Rio Grande do Sul by Geisse, one of Brazil's leading sparkling wine producers. A minimum 15 months lees ageing yields a wine pale yellow in colour. Green aple and pear-drop nose, a touch floral. Persistent mousse with good bubbles, balanced acidity and a light freshness to the palate. Clean, well made. 9.6 g/l residual sugar. Highly versatile, makes a great party wine or apertif.
2. Sanjo Nobrese Moscato, NV; Santa Catarina; 100% Moscato Giallo; 13% abv; £10
100% Moscato Giallo from Sanjo, a Japanese-Brazilian co-operative, one of the new wave of high altitude wines in Brazil's coldest region, Santa Catarina. Diurnal temperature differences are high giving wine real freshness. Colour is very pale yellow with greenish highlights. On the nose, intensely aromatic and floral - with guava, lychee, elderflower, mint and even grapefruit all apparent. Palate is not sweet, as might be expected, instead dry to off-dry, grapey, perfumed and with a touch of spice. Medium bodied with a marked cleansing acidity. Try with Thai curries...!
3. Pizzato Legno Chardonnay, 2014; Serra Gaúcha; 100% Chardonnay; 12.5% abv; £18
From just one small vineyard bloc this is a single varietal Chardonnay, aged for eight months in lightly toasted new French oak and originating in Brazil's southerly Serra Gaúcha region. Restrained and subtle on the nose, the wine shows a nutty, vanilla character overlying a gentle tropical lemon and lime fruit. Palate is smooth, cashew nut creamy with balanced acidity. Excellent ageing potential, try with lightly flavoured chicken dishes or perhaps grilled white fish.
Between the Whites and the Reds Claire served nibbles of Pâté de Compagne on Olive Oil Crostini with Black Olives.
4. Sanjo Nubio Malbec, 2013; 100% Malbec; 12% abv; £13
Unusually light and fruity Malbec. Nose is youthful with aromas of blackberries, cherries and ripe plums underscored by a restrained violet floral note which is typical of this grape variety. The light, ripe, and fruity theme continues on the palate with red cherry flavours dominating. A short stint in used French oak results in traces of chocolate, moha, vanilla and some smokiness showing through giving added complexity. The wine is clean with refreshing acidity and smooth tannins. Good long finish. Not a typical Malbec, much more delicate and subtle than other examples. Serve with chicken dishes, patés and ham.
5. Don Guerino Reserva Teroldego, 2015; 100% Teroldega; 13% abv; £15
Seldom seen grape variety of northeast Italian origin, this is a 100% example from 10 year old vines. Aged in French and American oak for about six months and then with a further six months in bottle before release. Bright, deep purple-red in colour. Concentration of youthful dark jammy fruits on the nose overlaid with lighter raspberry or redcurrant notes. More ripe fruity aromas on light-medium palate; a moreish black cherry and licorice core with hints of smokiness and vanilla off well integrated oak. Very soft tannins. Wine is smooth with relatively high acidity and a touch of sour cherry on a long finish. Try with roast lamb or pork.
6. * Pizzato Reserva Alicante Bouschet, 2005; Serra Gaúcha; 100% Alicante Bouschet; 13% abv; £14
A very unusual grape variety, originally found in the borderlands of SW France and NW Spain, now mostly grown in Portugal. This Brazilian example is from the Serra Gaúcha and benefits from six months ageing in American oak. Very dark red ruby-violet, still scarcely showing any age. Warm dark fruits on the nose but with more subtle additional notes of black olive and eucalyptus. Palate is dry with bold tannins and dense black fruits preceding a long, rich finish. A big food wine - try with lamb, beef, venison and/or strongly flavoured cheeses.
7. * Sanjo Maestrale Cabernet Sauvignon, 2007; 100% Cabernet Sauvignon; 13% abv; £20
100% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged in a combination of new and used French oak for twelve months. Still has a deep purple-red core. Concentration of warm ripe blackcurrant on the nose with vanilla, cedar and secondary aromas of mint and fine spices. Intense blackcurrent and plum fruit on the palate with gamey or yeasty notes also apparent. Excellent structure, well integrated tannins, persistent and with a long finish. Potential for 3-5 years of further ageing. Recommended with steaks or roasts.
8. * Pizzato Reserva Tannat, 2009; 100% Tannat; 13% abv; £18
Very deep ruby red. Pronounced red berry fruit aromas with just a suggestion of coconut, nutmeg or cinnamon. Aged for eleven months in new French oak lends elegance and structure. Palate shows ripe integrated tannins and some spiciness. 25+ year old vines lead to a rich, succulent concentation of fruit. Wonderfully rounded and drinking very well now - still quite early for this grape variety - but will develop further. Try with roast beef, casseroles or venison. Pizzato is a highly regarded family winery of Italian origins, based in the Serra Gaúcha with an award-winning range of red wines.
9. * Pizzato Gran Reserva Concentus, 2009; 55% Merlot, 25% Tannat, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon; 13.5% abv; £27
Powerful yet elegant blend of Merlot (55%), Tannat (25%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (20%) with added complexity from both American and French oak barrel ageing. Dark berry fruit nose gives way to a rich concentrated palate, showing plums, mocha and spices. Tannins initially firm but open up to show balance and suppleness. Touch of vanilla and caramel on a long, fresh finish. Great food wine - partner with steaks, roasts and strong cheeses. Already aged but would benefit from future cellaring.