Apr 21, 2013

Posted by in Articles, Featured | 5 Comments

#SnoothPVA: Wines of Brazil

IMG_5487My recent weekend in New York City was packed full of wine tasting events that were coordinated by the good people of Snooth.  With each event focusing on different wine regions throughout the world, from Rioja to Oregon, one of the tasting events I was most excited about was the Wines of Brazil.  Having never tried any Brazilian wine prior to the tasting in New York; in fact, the word soccer or Carnival comes to mind first when thinking of Brazil – I was completely unfamiliar with wines from this region.

It was our first tasting event of the day, and my wine writing colleagues and I met with Snooth’s Editor in Chief, Gregory Dal Piaz, in the lobby of our Manhattan-Chelsea hotel.  After a brisk morning walk through the bustling streets of New York, we made our way down to the basement of the Altman Building – an events center that would later be the gathering place for hundreds of wine enthusiasts attending the First Annual Snooth People’s Voice Wine Awards.

IMG_5481Unlike most basements, this one was painted bright white and was actually quite inviting.  We were met with a glass of Cave Geisse Nature 2010 ($19.99) sparkling wine.  Dry and bright with refreshing aromas of apples and fresh baked bread, this was my kind of way to start the day.  The aromas carried through to the palate, and a pleasing shot of lemon zest on the finish indicated nice acidity, which beautifully rounded out the fruit flavors.  The Cave Geisse was made using Methode Champenoise and resembled Champagne, and I was already liking the wines of Brazil.

Some interesting facts:

  • Brazil is the 5th largest wine producer in the Southern Hemisphere
  • There are 24,710 acres of Vitis Vinifera vineyards in Brazil and 206,870 acres of cultivated grapevines
  • Number of wineries: 1,162
  • There are six wine regions within Brazil
  • Serra Gaúcha, also known as “The Little Italy,” is the largest and most important wine region and accounts for 85% percent of Brazil’s fine wine production
  • In the northern region of Vale do São Francisco, the climate conditions allow for control of the production cycle through pruning and irrigation to obtain two harvests per year

Some interesting opinions:

  • high acid, super fresh wines
  • terroir driven wines
  • lack of ripeness keeps the wine bright and fresh

IMG_5490Including our welcome glass of Cave Geisse, we tried a total of 14 wines from Brazil, and I’ve highlighted a few of my favorites.

~Lidio Carraro Dadivas Chardonnay 2012 ($19.99): Well worth it’s price tag, this stainless steel fermented Chardonnay has a surprising creamy mouthfeel even though no oak is used in it’s production; in fact, there’s no oak in this winery at all.  The creamy mouthfeel comes from some time on the lees, and beautiful aromas and flavors of pears, apples and stone fruit are bright, fresh and rounded out by mellow acidity.

~Salton Desejo Merlot 2007 ($21.99): At first, I was not so sure about this one, but when I revisited it about 30 minutes after my initial sip, the aromas and flavors had totally flourished.  Full bodied on the palate, this had herbal and fruit qualities that not only benefited with time, but were really intense and certainly caught my attention.  I also liked the silky mouthfeel and added spiciness on the finish.

IMG_5494~Miolo Merlot Terroir 2009 ($23.99): With a similar texture and mouthfeel as the Salton Desojo, I enjoyed the silkiness of this one.  Although I detected some plum and dark berry fruits, the smoky and mushroomy qualities really stood out.  I must have really liked it because I have a big star next to my notes with a smiley face.

~Lidio Carraro Grande Vindima Quorum 2006 ($64.99): Go figure, the wine I liked best comes with the highest price tag of all the wines we tasted…but, for good reason.  I need to note, again, that this is the winery with absolutely no oak in house. This blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tannat and Cabernet Franc has certainly aged gracefully.  Fruit aromas of ripe blackberry, currants and black cherries were dominated by gorgeous licorice notes.  Lush and juicy on the palate, medium bodied, smooth acidity and extremely well balanced, this was outstanding.

IMG_5489~Aurora Carnaval Moscato Rosé, NV ($14.99): I’m was pleased that we didn’t finish our Wines of Brazil tasting without sampling something fizzy and festive- perfect for a Brazilian Carnival!  Peaches on the nose, of course (it’s a Moscato), and super fizzy on the palate with loads of fresh fruit, this was a simply fun and tasty sparkling wine at a great price.

What surprised me most about the wines of Brazil were the similarities in stand-out freshness and solid acidity with wines from different regions, and this tasting most certainly has put wines at the forefront of my thoughts of Brazil, which will obviously no longer just be just soccer and Carnival. Saúde, cheers.


2013-SnoothPVABloggers-30deg-smallCheck out what my wine writing friends had to say about the Wines of Brazil:

#SnoothPVA Brazilian Wines Master Class (My Vine Spot)

Wine Countries: Brazil – Wines of Brazil Tasting At Snooth PVA (avvinare.com)

What’s Better Than Wine for Breakfast (Wannabe Wino)

Snooth PVA: Wines of Brasil (Benito’s Wine Reviews)