(2019) The northern Italian variety Teroldego, grown here in the hills of Serra Gaúcha. Black as pitch, the nose here is smoky and meaty, a wisp of bonfire smoke, but then a more floral, exotically spicy aspect comes through, a touch old roses and a deep blue-black fruitiness. In the mouth there's a juicy cherry and raspberry intensity here, that smokiness wreathed through the fruit, the tannins firm but not stern, and the balanced acidity giving a long, fruit-driven finish.
(2019) Throughout central Europe, wines labeled 'Riesling' are often made from Welschriesling rather than the Rhine Riesling of Germany's top wines, an unrelated grape variety that tends to produce aromatic and crisp, easy-drinking wines. Such is precisely the case here, a particularly fragrant example with lemon verbena, apple and a touch of floral character. In the mouth it is all about the zesty freshness of apple and lime, but gentle, the acidity matched by just a touch of background sugar perhaps.
(2019) A muscular, meaty, meat-stocky aromas for this Brazilian Tannat from the Pizzato family, who are of Italian origin. A woodsmoke and vanilla character, loads of spices and warming fireside tones, just glimpses of a ripe, more vibrant black fruit beneath. In the mouth this is an all-encompassing, bear-hug of a wine, ripe and sweet black fruit floods the mid-palate, that creamy and smoky depth of oak supporting, but the edge of freshness to the tannins and the nippy, alert acidity gives lovely balance.
(2019) Owner Mario Geisse was in charge of winemaking at Moet & Chandon’s Brazilian operation before setting up n his own in 1979, with vineyards at 800 metres, growing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Aged 24 months on the lees, this really is a beautiful, and classic traditional method sparkling wine, 70% Chardonnay and rich with confit lemon, almond and creamy, biscuity richness, the mousse plush and mouth-filling. On the palate there's pin-sharp precision of flavours and acidity, but a generous personality too, the intrinsic sweet ripeness of the fruit perfectly matching the razor-sharp acidity. A class act this, Franciacorta softness meets Champagne precision.
(2018) Oenologist Bruno Motter studied winemaking in Mendoza, Argentina, which perhaps has helped him coax such an expressive Malbec from these hillside vineyards at around 500-metres altitude. In some ways this is a super-charged example, heaving with chocolate and mulberry, a raspberry ripple, creamy density of fruit, and yet it has elegance too. Six months in French and American oak adds to that cocoa depth, but there is such pure red fruit at the core of this, a soft but tight-grained tannin structure, and fine cherry acidity, that it is pretty and poised too. A big, open-armed crowd-pleaser and excellent.
(2016) Brazil may not be the first country you think of for wine production, but a lot is made there, including plenty of sparkling wine. So what better way to celebrate the Rio Olympics in August 2016 that with a couple of bottles of this - I say a couple because throughout August there's a two for £12 deal on the wine in M&S. It's made from the same grape as Prosecco, it's cheeky Riosecco name giving that clue, and is a typically frothy, icing sugar and lemons concoction that slips down a treat in its off-dry, undemanding way. Not fine wine, but perfect for Olympic-themed parties and picnics. Watch the video for full information on the background to this wine and its unusual name.