What follows are brief snapshots of 10 important Brazilian wineries I visited in May. They all play specific roles in the Brazilian wine industry, whether that means producing high volumes, pioneering emerging regions and varieties, or simply helping to market the wines of Brazil intelligently and effectively.
I know many people are going to disagree with my ratings for many of these wines, primarily because they are made in a style that does not closely adhere to what we believe to be the popularly accepted style. In fact, some of the most vocal criticism is likely to come from those in Brazil itself!
How can these wines possibly be scored so highly when they fail to approach the style, power and consistency of an Argentine or a Chilean wine? That "failure" is exactly why these wines are so appealing. For the most part, they buck the trend of adapting an international style. I think this is because producers realize that they simply cannot make wines like that.
Instead, Brazilian producers have embraced what the land and the climate have given them and in turn have produced wines that are different and unique. These are wines that speak to me. Defending wines that lack the power, richness, depth of fruit, and opulence that have become synonymous with "great wine" over the past two decades is a funny position to be in, but the wines of Brazil remind us that there was great wine before this all became the norm. In fact, there continue to be wines that are great for the palate yearning for something other than the norm. Sometimes, you just have to look a little harder to find those wines.
— Gregory Del Piaz, Snooth