Tasting Notes: Wines of Brazil, presented by Nicholas Corfe (Go Brazil Wines), 22 January 2020

Abbreviated notes courtesy of Nicholas Corfe – Go Brazil Wines – gobrazilwines.com. Prices given are standard prices inc VAT. 

Many thanks to Nicholas for an interesting and enjoyable tasting of wines from a country not generally associated with wine!

1. FAMILIA GEISSE EXTRA BRUT 2016 12.5% Abv.
Trad. Method sparkler, 30 months on lees, 50% Chardonnay-50% Pinot Noir blend. Mid-straw yellow in colour with gold hints. Small persistent bubbles. Very fresh on nose with strong autolytic character – brioche, toast and nutty aromas all showing. Apple and peach prominent on palate, also some lemon or citric notes. Well rounded, highish acidity and dry ( 6gm res. sugar/ltr.).Very long finish, ends with a tiny sherbet spritz. Drink well chilled as an aperitif; makes an impressive party/formal occasion wine. High quality: awarded 94 points by Decanter (Oct 2018). £24.00

2. DON GUERINO SINAIS ITÁLICO RIESLING 2019 13% Abv.
Produced by Don Guerino, a family business whose eponymous founder arrived in Brazil from Italy in 1879, from grape of Central European origin, also known as ‘Welschriesling’. Ripe tropical fruit notes on nose, some floral hints. Spends 4 months on lees prior to bottling. Palate is light to medium-bodied with gentle pineapple, melon and peach flavours. Dry to off-dry but without the minerality and high acidity associated with German Rhein Riesling. Soft stonefruit and pineapple show on a longish finish. Serve chilled as an aperitif, with light salads, hors d’oeuvres or fish dishes. £12.75.

3. DON GUERINO SINAIS SAUVIGNON BLANC 2018 13% Abv.
‘Sister’ wine to the Riesling above and part of Guerino’s ‘Sinais’ branded second range, supplied with screwcap. Uniquely for this winery, grapes are bought in from the neighbouring, colder region of Campos de Cima. Very pale, with green tinges, wine has ripe tropical aromas, especially of guava, with hints of citrus, nettle and capsicum. Light and dry on palate, with a clean refreshing acidity. A slight lemon or sherbet spritz may also be noticeable, while the finish shows delicate citrus notes. An ideal party wine – serve on its own or pair with seafood, fish or white meat. £12.75

4. PIZZATO PP SEMILLON 2018 12% Abv.
Highly unusual and from vines planted only in 2012, this is the first ever Brazilian 100% Semillon to reach UK shores. 40% of the wine was aged for 12 months in French barrels made of both oak and acacia, with just 2000 bottles produced. A complex nose shows stonefruit, melon and white flowers, with traces of spice and vanilla. Fresh and dry on a textured palate, with decent acidity and a long finish, this a versatile wine: serve well chilled with seafood, white and cured meats, salads, fish or seafood. £19.00.

5. DON GUERINO ‘VINTAGE’ MALBEC 2017 13% Abv.
100% Malbec, aged in both American & French oak for 6 months, then rests another 6 months in in bottle prior to release. Vibrant and youthful fruit on nose with strong varietal violet and mulberry notes, also hint of tobacco. Restrained plummy fruit on super smooth palate, lovely caramel flavours and well integrated oak. Medium bodied, dry, with decent acidity; some ageing potential. Highly versatile, serve with roast chicken, stews, pasta, risottos, cheese, etc. £16.00.

6. DON GUERINO RESERVA TEROLDEGO 2017 13% Abv.
Seldom seen grape variety from NE Italy, this is a 100% varietal example. Aged in French and American oak for approx. 6 months, then further 6 months in bottle before release. Bright, deep purple-red in colour. Concentration of youthful dark fruits on nose, overlaid with lighter raspberry or redcurrant notes. More ripe fruity aromas on a medium-bodied palate, which shows a moreish black cherry and licorice core with hints of smokiness and vanilla off well integrated oak. Soft tannins: wine is smooth, with relatively high acidity and touch of sour cherry on a long finish. Serve with roast lamb or pork. £17.00.

7. PIZZATO RESERVA NERVI TANNAT 2015 13.5% Abv.
Very deep ruby red. Pronounced red berry fruit aromas overlaying more subtle aromas of dark chocolate, spice, toast and leather. 12 months in both new and second use French barrels lends elegance and structure. Tannins now mellowing but wine shows real structure and depth. 20+ year old vines, so rich, succulent concentration of fruit. Drinking well now – still quite early for this grape variety – but will develop, becoming more complex. Try with roast beef, casseroles or venison. Pizzato is a highly regarded family winery of Italian origin, based in the Serra Gaúcha, with an award-winning range of wines across all categories ( red, white & sparkling ). £19.00.

8. GUASPARI VALE da PEDRA TINTO 2017 14% Abv.
A recent addition to the Go Brazil portfolio, the wines from Guaspari are remarkable not only for originating within the Tropics – in the state of São Paulo at latitude 23° – but also for their quality, which has been recognised internationally. The average altitude of this winery, which lies in Brazil’s coffee belt, is >1000m, and it is this region’s low winter temperatures which are key to Guaspari’s success. The ‘tinto’ here is 100% Syrah, which has been aged for 9 months in new French oak. It shows typical varietal notes of cloves and spice on the nose, along with a heady floral perfume of rosemary and herbs. Savoury and very rich, palate is wonderfully concentrated and the finish exceptionally long. £25.00.