Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wines I'm Drinking: 2007 Pizzato Vale dos Vinhedos Chardonnay (January 11, 2012)

Today I tasted the 2007 Pizzato Vale dos Vinhedos Chardonnay from Brazil. I can't remember seeing Brazilian wines on the shelves of stores here before, and this is the first Brazilian wine I've tasted, but the Pizzato Chardonnay appears to have a fairly long history. Brief tasting notes follow.

Very pale straw color. Not nearly as deeply hued as most Chardonnays. Fairly distant on the nose, but with sappy scents and something waxy. Knowing nothing about this wine, I might have guessed it a Semillon from the scent. Not much suggestion of oak, if any. On the palate, deceptively light at first, but it had something suggestive of a Pinot Blanc--a certain restrained richness offset with delicate acidity on a respectably long finish. Hints of pineapple. Reminiscent of one of those good Italian white wines that seems insubstantial at first but gradually grows on you. This is subtle and interesting--far more interesting than I expected it to be. Not your typical Chardonnay. I suspect wine drinkers used to California Chardonnay won't get this, but it seems well made and I found it enjoyable. Very attractively priced at only $4.99 a bottle at Grocery Outlet in Santa Rosa. It normally sells for around $18 a bottle. Having said all that, in the course of a meal it began to seem a trifle flat. It could have used a little more acidity to keep it interesting. If you try this, I'd recommend drinking it immediately. I suspect the 2007 wine has appeared discounted at Grocery Outlet recently because Brazilian wine is not that well known among average consumers in the US and because newer vintages are available.  I'd be interested to sample this wine in fresher vintages. Still, worth a try at least.

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