With all the hubbub over the opening of Lula Brazil, John Rankin's great article on Brazilian vintages is more timely than ever. Enjoy!
Ten years ago, you could have checked all your wine books and found no mention of wines from Brazil. Things have changed in the past decade, and fine examples of Brazilian wine were presented at a May 15th luncheon sponsored by the 2014 Mid-Atlantic Wine + Food Festival. The Taste of Brazil Lunch dazzled guests with three wines and Brazilian food prepared by chef Abde Dahrouch of Lula Brazil restaurant. The wines were personally presented by winemaker Patricia Carraro, visiting the U.S. from southern Brazil’s Lidio Carraro winery.
Carraro offered interesting insights to her wines as guests sipped Da’Divas Chardonnay 2012, an elegant, medium-bodied wine exuding tropical fruit flavors. It will remind Americans of a cool-climate Chardonnay with mineral character and acidity that emerges on the finish. Da’Divas Chardonnay received the 2013 “Best White Wine in Brazil” award and was roundly applauded by luncheon guests, who were astonished to learn that the wine retails for only $15.
The most impressive wine of the afternoon was Lido Carraro “Quorum” 2006 $45, a mellow blend of five red grapes. Deep purple, almost inky in color, this wine is sophisticated, complex, full-bodied and velvety. Dark cocoa and kirsch flavors, along with firm tannins, make it a natural pair for red meats and rich cheese.
The most intriguing wine was Lidio Carraro Merlot “Angvs” 2011 $20, a captivating presentation of Merlot that doesn’t fit the usual Merlot flavor profile. Angvs (pronounced “angus”) captures the Brazilian terroir and purity of the grape. It reminds wine drinkers that when it comes to Brazilian wines, one must expect the unexpected and understand that Brazilian wines are not stereotypical versions of the varietals as most Americans know them.
RehobothFoodie.com welcomes wine lover and author John Rankin. John is a freelance writer who specializes in wine stories. He lives in Salisbury, Maryland.