Nicholas Corfe of Go Brazil presented a selection of wines from Brazil to members of the Harrogate Medical Wine Society
“Here at Go Brazil we have been working hard for more than seven years to raise the awareness of Brazilian wine, and continue to be the only specialist UK importer to do so. For many here the wines of Brazil remain something of a novelty. Our strategy has been to introduce wines which are genuinely different from the mainstream, that stand out for the right reasons and which have an interesting story to tell. Earlier this year, for example, we launched a range from a winery called ‘Don Guerino’, a small family producer from northeast Italy whose arrival in Brazil dates back to 1879 and whose current winemaker studied in Mendoza. Their single varietal Teroldego – a grape native to their original homeland – has been very well received in the UK.” – Nicholas Corfe
With roughly 205,000 acres of vineyards, it ranks just behind its near-neighbours Argentina and Chile in terms of acreage under vine but only about 10% of these acres are planted with vitis vinifera vines. Hybrids such as Isabella, Norton, Concord, Catawba and Clinton predominate. Serra Gaucha and Campanha in the south of the country and the northern state of Bahia are the wine producing centres of Brazil. The best-known wines are arguably sparkling whites, many of which are made by the Chamart method (second fermentation in tank with bottling under high pressure).
The following wines were tasted:
- Amadeu Brut 2014 (£17.00) – Traditional method sparkling wine – a blend of 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir, made in the most southerly state of Rio Grande do Sul by Cave Geisse, Brazil’s leading sparkling wine producer. It has had 15 months lees ageing. Residual sugar is 9.6gm/l. 12.5%
- Sanjo Nobrese (£9.00). 100% Moscato Giallo from Sanjo, one of the new wave of high altitude wineries in Brazil’s coldest region, Santa Catarina
- Don Guerino Reserva Chardonnay 2016 (£14.00) From 10 yr old vines in the Alto Felix region of the Serra Gaúcha hills. Remains in contact with lees for 3 months, then in French oak for 3 months prior to bottling
- Sanjo Nubio Malbec 2013 (£13.00). An unusually light and fruity Malbec
- Don Guerino ‘Vintage’ Malbec 2015 (£14.50). 100% Malbec, aged in both American & French oak for approx. 6 months, then another 6 months in bottle prior to release. Made by young winemaker, Bruno Motter, who studied oenology in Mendoza, Argentina
- Don Guerino Reserva Teroldego 2015 (£15.00). Seldom seen grape variety of northeast Italian origin, this is a 100% example from 10 yr old vines. Aged in French and American oak for approx. 6 months, then further 6 months in bottle before release
- Sanjo Maestrale Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 (£17.00). 100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged in combination of new & used French oak for 12 months
- Pizzato Reserva Tannat 2009 (£18.00). Very deep ruby red. Pronounced red berry fruit aromas. 11 months new French oak lends elegance and structure, with ripe integrated tannins, and some spiciness. 25+ year old vines, Pizzato is a highly regarded family winery of Italian origin, based in the Serra Gaúcha, with an award-winning range of red wines
The Teroldego, Cabernet Sauvignon and Tannat were the star wines of the evening.
Torres Chile Cordillera Brut Blanc de Noir from Curico Valley was served on arrival. La Rioja Alta Vina Arana 2009 was poured with supper that followed the tasting (pan roasted breast of duck, fondant potato and Cointreau reduction).
- “A very brief note to thank you and you colleagues again for the warm hospitality last night, and in particular for the generous gift of Champagne. It was very kind of you and I do hope that everyone enjoyed the evening.” – Nicholas Corfe, Go Brazil
- “Firstly I would like to reiterate my congratulations on the excellent tasting and dinner last night, which I am sure all the good turned out of members thoroughly enjoyed. At the end of the evening, I mentioned to Nicholas Corfe that, if possible, Joan I would like to buy a case of 12 of the very fine ‘Sanjo Maestrale’ Cabinet Sauvignon 2007, but he asked me do this through you; presumably so that you can collate any other interested parties and assess whether or not the demand rendered this economically viable. There is no hurry, but perhaps in due course you will let me know. With thanks in anticipation.” – Malcolm Beer, Harrogate
- “Thank you for a super tasting last night. I thought all the wines were very well made, and the Moscato is a particular find. It would make a good change from Gewürztraminer with spicy food! Nicholas’s presentation was excellent, and it was a good selection to introduce to Brazil.” – Jane Trewhella, Otley
- “Thank you for organising the Brazilian tasting yesterday evening. Thanks also to Charles for hosting the event and to Ann for the vote of thanks. All the wines that we tasted were pleasant and drinkable but the ones that I really enjoyed were the Don Guerino Reserva Chardonnay, the Don Guerino Reserva Teroldego, a grape variety I had never heard of, the Sanjo Maestrale Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 and the Pizzato Reserva Tannat 2009.” – Carole Wood, Ackworth
- “Thank you organising such a delightful evening. I knew absolutely nothing about these wines so it was a real learning experience for me. I enjoyed each of them but my particular favourites were the Don Guerino vintage Malbec and the Pizzato Reserva Tannat.” – Gail Bent, Harrogate
“Thank you for organising another extremely interesting and different wine tasting of Brazil.The evening was relaxed, friendly and excellently chaired by Charles with a lovely vote of thanks from Ann.The supper simple but delicious and accompanied by a fantastic 2009 Rioja Alta Vina Arana. What a lovely thought to give Adam and Danielle a bottle of Henriot Champagne to celebrate their recent wedding.The wines overall were enjoyable and quite different. Surprisingly we liked the Sanjo Nobrese Moscato, very dry and would be fantastic with Thai food. The Malbecs were not to our taste but we thoroughly enjoyed the very smooth Don Guerino Reserva which would make an excellent accompaniment for Italian Food.A super evening thank you Nicholas, Bernard and all those who made it a most enjoyable night.”– Pat & John (Shore), Harrogate