GO BRAZILIAN

By Rose Murray Brown MW    Published in The Scotsman 20 August 2016

In celebration of the Rio Olympics, we are going all Brazilian this week – bringing you our own horde of medal winners from the Brazilian heats:

                
SPARKLING WHITE

Riosecco Brazilian wine review by Rose Murray Brown MWSerra Gaucha:  RIOSECCO SPARKLING GLERA NV   ***GOLD MEDAL***
(£6 Marks & Spencer)
Clever packaging and name pun – Brazil’s answer to Prosecco from the same grape as Italy’s Prosecco (Glera) grape which has been successfully grown in South America.  Light peachy aromas, vibrant mousse, just a gentle touch of sweetness and finishing dry – made exclusively for M&S by Gregorio Salton of Salton winery – popular with our tasters.  Brazilians love their fizz – and it’s the best in South America to date: 11.5%


Vale do San Francisco:  COCONOVA BRUT NV
(£7 Marks & Spencer)
Drier and crisper, this fizz sprinted well with its peachy rounded style, but fell at the final hurdle with our tasters.  A blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc & Verdejo, made in ‘cuvee close’ method (as is the Riosecco above) rather than the ‘traditional’ Champagne method – more enticing on the label than the taste for our tasters: 12%

 

SPARKLING ROSE
                      
Serra Gaucha:  AURORA MOSCATO ROSE NV   ***BRONZE MEDAL***
(£9.99 www.slurp.co.uk; SH Jones )
Simple and sweet was the verdict from our tasters.  This Asti-style blend of Moscato Hamburgo and Moscato Bianco is sure to appeal to those with a sweet tooth.  Just like a frothy foamy Italian fizz with pretty floral, fruity and a light delicate touch – note the very low alcohol – serve with apple pie or tiramasu: 7.5%

 

WHITE WINE
                             
Campanha:  ARAUCARIA RIESLING PINOT GRIGIO 2015 Miolo   ***SILVER MEDAL***
(£7 Marks & Spencer)
Crisp pear, white flowers and greengage flavours – a clever blend of 70% aromatic floral Riesling and 30% zippy Pinot Grigio made by Miguel Almeida at Miolo winery – popular with our tasters: 12.5%

Serra Gaucha:  WAITROSE BRAZILIAN CHARDONNAY 2015
(£8.79 Waitrose)
A touch rubbery and baked fruit on aroma, soft smooth rounded palate is better, disappointingly short on the finish: 12%

Vale dos Vinhedos:  CASA VALDUGA LEOPOLDINA CHARDONNAY 2013   ***GOLD MEDAL***
(£13.49 Waitrose)
My money is on Casa Valduga as my favourite winery – this Chardonnay is well balanced, with good fruit integration, depth and high scorer amongst our tasters who praised its balanced use of oak (20% oaked) – sadly seems to be hard to get hold of: 13.5%


RED WINE
                                      
Vale dos Vinhedos:  CASA VALDUGA LEOPOLDINA CABERNET SAUVIGNON/MERLOT/CABERNET FRANC 2011   ***SILVER MEDAL***
(£13.49 Waitrose)
Merlot has potential in Brazil – and Casa Valduga’s mature Bordeaux blend shows this.  They do struggle to ripen Cabernets in some humid vintages, but this has warm baked blackcurrant and plum aromas, a touch of vanilla, a touch too much acidity on the finish – but considering its origin shows potential: 13%

                                       
Serra Gaucha:  WAITROSE BRAZILIAN MERLOT 2013  
(£6.59 reduced from £8.79 Waitrose until 31 August)
Acceptable, but not as juicy and plummy as a Chilean equivalent.  It has cherry fruits smoky red was a favourite pick with a couple of our tasters: 12%


Campanha:  MIOLO RIQUEZA RESERVA PINOT NOIR 2014
(£11.99 Waitrose)
Very light, smooth sweet rounded Pinot Noir with surprisingly fine tannins; it might not be a patch on Burgundy – and quite pricey at over £10 – but very interesting to see Brazil’s potential as they have a lot of Pinot Noir planted: 13%

 

Brazilian wineQUICK GUIDE TO BRAZIL'S WINE REGIONS

Rio Grande do Sul     
Serra Gaucha : Wet humid area in Rio Grande do Sul – twice as wet as Bordeaux – first planted in 1785 by Italian immigrants who loved the Tuscan-style landscape; Merlot most promising here.  Vale dos Vinhedos subzone is Brazil’s best quality region to date
Campanha : Now called Fronteira – in far south on Uruguay border with lower rainfall, less fertile sandy soils
Serra do Sudeste: Neighbour to Campanha in southeast – dry climate

Santa Catarina
Planalto Catarinense : Highest and coolest makes icewine from frozen grapes; potential for Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc

Rio do Sao Francisco : Hot arid northeasterly region – Moscatel popular here, Syrah looks promising

 

Brazilian wineKEY FACTS ON BRAZILIAN WINE:

                  
5th largest producer in Southern Hemisphere
3rd largest producer in South America (after Chile & Argentina)
1532 first vines planted
1,162 wineries (but only 16 export to UK)
Chardonnay: most planted white grape
Cabernet Sauvignon: most planted red grape
89,000 hectares of vineyards (only 10% with classic vinifera grapes)
38% of Brazilian wines are sparkling
20.6 million bottles of fizz produced in Brazil


Join Rose’s Fine Bordeaux & Loire Masterclass on Thursday 8 September at The Royal Scots Club, Abercromby Place, Edinburgh £42 www.rosemurraybrown.com

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