Vale do Vinhedos

Vale do Vinhedos, RS

Tasted January 4, 2012 by Timbalimba with 595 views

Introduction

All wines were tasted at source, at the domains.

Serving temperature, glasses, and general condition of the wines served was sole responsibility of the person who presented the wines. I found the conditions (wine temperature and sample freshness) in two of the tasting rooms less than ideal but surely it must be up to the winemaker to decide how to serve his or her product?

Apart from that complaint, I found it a thoroughly delightful visit to the Vale. It offered a nice opportunity to meet the men (they were all men) behind the labels, try their wines, discuss them in detail, and, as visits to winemakers rather have a habit of doing, provided some real surprises as well. Some of the bigger names did not perform as I had expected them to and some of the lesser known garagistes certainly punched above their weight.

Flight 1 - Vinícola Miolo (6 notes)

White - Sweet/Dessert
2008 Miolo Moscatel Terranova Late Harvest Reserve Brazil, Vale do São Francisco
85 points
Green-tinted gold. Toasted vanilla, some linoleum, nice pear-drop fruit underneath. Medium palate, nice fruit, a touch of acidity, decent finish. Not bad.
Red
2008 Miolo Quinta do Seival Castas Portuguesas Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, Campanha
81 points
Purple, layered. Dirty nose, dry herbs, scorched red fruits. Disjointed palate, fruit stew, grainy tannins, sharp acidity. Unbalanced.
Red
2010 Miolo Pinot Noir RAR Colezzione Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, Campos de Cima da Serra
82 points
Garnet-ruby. Muted nose, some undergrowth, overripe strawberry, oak. Not very expressive palate, a touch of strawberry, moist earth, oak. Square--- no great gestures, no charm.
White
2009 Miolo Chardonnay Cuvée Giuseppe Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, Serra Gaúcha, Vale dos Vinhedos
83 points
Pale gold. Big bouquet dominated by toasted French oak, some green fruits underneath, some yeasty tones, obvious sur lie. A lot of wood on the palate as well, buttered salted toast, green plum. Decent finish (oak again). Overdone sur lie and then clobbered senseless with a wooden stick. Pity, because there are hints of delicate fruit somewhere.
Red
2008 Miolo Reserva Lote 43 Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, Serra Gaúcha, Vale dos Vinhedos
84 points
Purple. Charred oak, cedar, cherry, a dirty tone of damp earth. Full bodied on the palate, grainy tannins, sharpish acidity, some fruit, and more oak again. Medium finish, echoes of damp earth return. Nope. In my opinion the Miolos struggle with the balance, especially at the premium range.
Red
2009 Miolo Merlot Terroir Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, Serra Gaúcha, Vale dos Vinhedos
85 points
Concentrated purple-garnet. Toasted oak, licorice, star anise, plum. Dense in the mouth, four-square, fruit and spice packed together. Slightly mean finish, tart acidity. Closed and unbalanced. Heavily extracted and I wonder (actually I very much doubt) whether it has all the elements to turn into an outstanding wine.

Flight 2 - Pizzato Vinhas e Vinhos (10 notes)

White - Sparkling
2009 Pizzato Fausto Brut Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, Serra Gaúcha
83 points
Light gold. Lively mousse. Another classic nose with a large serving of toast. Quite hefty on the palate, pink grapefruit, even a touch of cherry. OK finish.
Rosé - Sparkling
2009 Pizzato Brut Rosé Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, Serra Gaúcha
84 points
Deep rose colour. Stinky nose, Pinot barnyard. Hmm… not sure. Very dry on the palate, fruity, full, yet austere. Not my style but I'll have to give it points for individuality and courage.
White - Sparkling
2007 Pizzato Brut Branco Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, Serra Gaúcha, Vale dos Vinhedos
84 points
Pale gold. Good mousse. Benchmark nose, hint of strawberry, brioche, vanilla. Not quite as good on the palate, very fruity, no minerals and a bit short.
White
2010 Pizzato Chardonnay de Chardonnays Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, Serra Gaúcha, Vale dos Vinhedos
86 points
Unoaked. Pale gold. Nice, mineral nose, touch of honey, peach. Medium bodied, very fresh, delicate fruit. Decent length. Not bad at all, Chablis-like.
Red
2005 Pizzato Concentus Gran Reserva Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, Serra Gaúcha, Vale dos Vinhedos
86 points
Garnet, slight bricking. Peppery nose, hint of raspberry fruit. Fleshy and ripe in the mouth, balanced finish. Nice blend.
Red
2007 Pizzato Egiodola Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, Serra Gaúcha, Vale dos Vinhedos
84 points
Blue-tinted garnet. Perfumed, musky bouquet, herbs, tobacco. Stewed strawberry fruit on the palate, tobacco comes back, tar. Reminds me very much of Sangiovese. Good.
Red
2005 Pizzato Alicante Bouschet Reserva Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, Serra Gaúcha, Vale dos Vinhedos
85 points
Blackish purple, impressive depth of colour. Closed nose, some minerals, herbs. Mouth-coating tannins, liquorice again, fruit kernels, tar. Not short on power but a real brute.
Red
2006 Pizzato Tannat Reserva Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, Serra Gaúcha, Vale dos Vinhedos
84 points
Deep purple, no obvious signs of age. Smoky, liquorice nose, deep. Good structure in the mouth, full bodied, but a bit tight, needs to gain some weight. Maybe improves with time.
Red
2006 Pizzato Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, Serra Gaúcha, Vale dos Vinhedos
85 points
Purple-garnet. Black pepper and liquorice on the nose. Medium bodied, slightly stalky, but individual style, very peppery. Not bad.
Red
2008 Pizzato Merlot Reserva Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, Serra Gaúcha, Vale dos Vinhedos
84 points
Garnet. Finely tuned bouquet, cherry, some oak in the background. Fine fruit, just a bit short. Correct.

Flight 3 - Adega Cavalleri (5 notes)

Red
2006 Cavalleri Merlot Segredo Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, Serra Gaúcha, Vale dos Vinhedos
86 points
Garnet. Deep, brooding nose, very typical Merlot with some bottle age, cherry fruit and saffron spice. Fine, balanced in the mouth, not terribly long but good balance.
Red
2009 Cavalleri Cabernet Sauvignon Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, Serra Gaúcha, Vale dos Vinhedos
88 points
Garnet, starting to show maturity at the rim. Surprisingly mature nose, perfumed rubber, Syrah-like. Nice. Medium bodied, yet flesh, fine fruit, integrated oak. Excellent balance. The best Cab I've tried from Serra Gaúcha, very elegant.
White
2011 Cavalleri Chardonnay Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, Serra Gaúcha, Vale dos Vinhedos
85 points
Greenish gold. Oak, dry nose, minerals. Quite fruity but classic. Not the longest of finishes but clean and balanced.
White - Sparkling
2009 Cavalleri Brut Charmat Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, Serra Gaúcha, Vale dos Vinhedos
85 points
Pale gold. Dry nose, biscuits, nuts and toast. A bit fluffy perhaps and quite full, but not bad, restrained fruit (thankfully). Clean refreshing finish.
White - Sparkling
2011 Cavalleri Moscatel Espumante Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, Serra Gaúcha, Vale dos Vinhedos
82 points
Pale silver. Fruity nose, muscat grape juice aroma. Nice palate, not too full, has a more serious tone underneath. Finishes well with some echoes of residual sugar.

Flight 4 - Angheben Vinhos Finos (4 notes)

Red
2010 Angheben Pinot Noir Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, Serra do Sudeste
83 points
Unoaked. Light garnet. A bit of smoke on the nose, some kirsch. Medium palate, not much fruit. The balance is all right but this is pale, not showing much.
Red
2010 Angheben Barbera Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, Serra do Sudeste
82 points
Purple. Closed nose, some funk, a hint of stewed, herby fruits. Medium to full bodied, quite acidic, some dirty cherry and bitter almonds. Too dirty, too short on fruit.
Red
2006 Angheben Cabernet Sauvignon Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, Serra do Sudeste
82 points
Garnet, bricking. Green pepper and American oak… oh well. Full bodied, mature yet still stalky, salty tannins. Unbalanced and not up to par if it wants to compete in the global Cab market.
Red
2005 Angheben Teroldego Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, Serra do Sudeste
83 points
Concentrated blackish purple, maturing towards the rim. Tar, fruit stew on the nose. Full bodied yet doesn't feel very generous, stalky fruits, grainy thin tannins. Shortish finish. Square.
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Flight 5 - Vinícola Almaúnica (7 notes)

Red
2011 Almaúnica Pinot Noir Reserva Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, Serra Gaúcha, Vale dos Vinhedos
85 points
Cherry, youthful. Very burnt nose, shrubbery, Tokyo-drift-like rubber on tarmac. Quite full, a bit alcoholic, toasted oak, but nice.
Red
2010 Almaúnica Merlot Reserva Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, Serra Gaúcha, Vale dos Vinhedos
85 points
Blue-tinted garnet. Quite a chemical, artificial nose, but palate is better; herbal, inky, a touch of blueberry. Clean finish.
Red
2009 Almaúnica Merlot Reserva Single Vineyard Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, Serra Gaúcha, Vale dos Vinhedos
85 points
French oak single vineyard version. Oaky (unsurprisingly), but nice balance, a bit inky. Give it some time.
Red
2009 Almaúnica Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, Serra Gaúcha, Vale dos Vinhedos
85 points
Concentrated garnet. Subdued, earthy, closed. Iodine on the palate, good acidity, not much tannin yet a bit green and stalky. Needs time
Red
2010 Almaúnica Syrah Reserva Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, Serra Gaúcha, Vale dos Vinhedos
87 points
Purple. Very spicy nose, cloves, cinnamon, black pepper. Impressive bouquet. Youthful, decent tannins, pepper and raspberry. Finishes well. Should improve with a couple of years in the cellar.
White - Sparkling
N.V. Almaúnica Chardonnay Brut Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, Serra Gaúcha, Vale dos Vinhedos
85 points
Pale gold. Lively mousse. Classic nose, biscuity. Full, rich palate, a bit OTT but not bad. Difficult to grasp this is 100% Chard.
White - Sparkling
N.V. Almaúnica Moscatel Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, Serra Gaúcha, Vale dos Vinhedos
82 points
Platinum-coloured. Asti sweet pears on the nose, sweet palate, refreshing acidity. Clean but not long.

Flight 6 - Vinícola Don Laurindo (12 notes)

White - Sparkling
2010 Don Laurindo Chardonnay Brut Reserva Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, Serra Gaúcha, Vale dos Vinhedos
85 points
Smoky nose, minerals. Bone dry, green apple fruit, medium-light body. Nice. Attractive style.
White
2010 Don Laurindo Malvasia de Cândia Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, Serra Gaúcha, Vale dos Vinhedos
83 points
Very fruity, muscat perfume. Light bodied, nice acidity.
Red - Sweet/Dessert
N.V. Don Laurindo Vinho Licoroso "Tipo Porto" Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, Serra Gaúcha, Vale dos Vinhedos
86 points
Deep PX-like in the glass, brown-tinted, mature. Raisiny nose, PX again, licorice. Medium bodied (for a fortified wine), caramel, licorice, raisins. Good acidity, decent finish, led pencils.
Red
2008 Don Laurindo Estilo Reserva Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, Serra Gaúcha, Vale dos Vinhedos
83 points
Malbec-Tannat-Ancellotta. Very youthful blackish purple. Sightly dirty, chemical nose, fruit cocktail. Young in the mouth, herby, stalky, tannic and closed at this stage. Four-square finish.
Red
2007 Don Laurindo Tannat Reserva Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, Serra Gaúcha, Vale dos Vinhedos
84 points
Nice bouquet of perfumed raspberry. Best nose this far. Medium bodied, balanced, light acidity. Shortish finish, does not quite deliver on the promise of the nose.
Red
2006 Don Laurindo Reserva, Assemblage Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, Serra Gaúcha, Vale dos Vinhedos
84 points
Tannat-Merlot-Cab. Layered bouquet, perfumed, a tad chemical, mature. Good balance in the mouth, cherry and raspberry fruit. OK finish but a bit light.
Red
2006 Don Laurindo Malbec Reserva Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, Serra Gaúcha, Vale dos Vinhedos
83 points
Oaky, herbaceous, red fruit perfume. Medium bodied, good acidity. Quite a typical aged Malbec, but not bad.
Red
2008 Don Laurindo Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, Serra Gaúcha, Vale dos Vinhedos
82 points
Muted nose, burnt shrubbery, toasted oak. Medium bodied, green pepper fruit, restrained tannins. Medium length, a bit hot.
Red
2006 Don Laurindo Ancellotta Reserva Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, Serra Gaúcha, Vale dos Vinhedos
84 points
Very dark. Black cherry fruit. Plumskin acidity, salty tannins. Decent length.
Red
2009 Don Laurindo Merlot Reserva Denominaçao de Origem Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, Serra Gaúcha, Vale dos Vinhedos
84 points
Concentrated purple. Oaky, deep, nicely perfumed. Good raspberry fruit on the palate. Just a bit light on the finish.
Red
2008 Don Laurindo Merlot Reserva Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, Serra Gaúcha, Vale dos Vinhedos
82 points
Deeper, musky fruit, lanolin, hint of raisins. Good acidity and decent length. OK.
Red
2010 Don Laurindo Merlot Reserva Leve Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, Serra Gaúcha, Vale dos Vinhedos
82 points
Unoaked, 11%, not MC. Sandalwood, cedar on the nose (tasted blind I would have sworn oak). Medium to light bodied, quite acidic, grainy, salty tannins. Straightforward light red.

Flight 7 - Vinícola Torcello (5 notes)

Red
2007 Vinícola Torcello Merlot Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, Serra Gaúcha, Vale dos Vinhedos
87 points
Garnet. Nice, youthful nose, sandalwood, cherry, good fruit expression. Refreshing medium bodied palate, crisp fruit. Unadulterated and pure in its expression.
Red
2007 Vinícola Torcello Tannat Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, Serra Gaúcha, Vale dos Vinhedos
88 points
Cherry-garnet. Fresh, herby, fruity nose, black cherries. Medium bodied, pure fruit, raspberries and cherries. Not bad at all.
Red
2005 Vinícola Torcello Cabernet Sauvignon Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, Serra Gaúcha, Vale dos Vinhedos
87 points
Garnet, but little evidence of maturity. Nice, cedar and crisp red fruit. Again, pure and fresh.
White - Sparkling
N.V. Vinícola Torcello Brut Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, Serra Gaúcha, Vale dos Vinhedos
86 points
Pale gold, fine mousse. Very fresh nose, this purity is carried over to the palate, crisp finish, not bad length.
White - Sparkling
N.V. Vinícola Torcello Moscatel Espumante Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, Serra Gaúcha, Vale dos Vinhedos
83 points
Greenish yellow, fine mousse. Pears and cinnamon nose, not terribly sweet on the palate, good freshness.
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