Like the United States, Brazil has been going through a rough patch recently — in its case, political intrigue, unhealthy waters, and disease borne by a mysterious mosquito. But Brazil has some bright spots on the horizon as well, among them the upcoming Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and a wine industry that is just beginning to break out. [related]Finding new sources of good to great wines is always exciting, and we have here examples not only from Brazil, but also Turkey — a country whose leader is a wine-hating teetotaler but whose ancient wine industry just gets better and better — and northern Greece, whose wines are less well-known that those of the Greek islands or the Peloponesse (though in fact Greece's Macedonia region makes some of the country’s best wines). As some of these wines are fairly new to the U.S., you may need to go online to find sources for them.
Lidio Carraro “Dádivas” Serra Gaucha Chardonnay 2013 ($15)
From one of Brazil’s premier producers — full, spiced apple flavors with a touch of creaminess.
Lidio Carraro “Agnus” Serra Gaúcha Merlot 2014 ($12)
Beautiful black raspberry flavors with a savory, fried-herbs finish. A bargain.
Lidio Carraro “Agnus” Serra Gaúcha Tannat 2014 ($12)
Casa Valduga “Raizes” Cabernet Franc 2011 ($16)
Warm, generous, well-balanced with dark cherries and a touch of cream.
Pizzato Vale dos Vinhedos Alicante Bouschet Reserva 2008 ($19)
Good depth of flavor, with rich, dark berries, integrated tannins, savory notes and fine acidity.
Lidio Carraro “Quorum” Serra Gaúcha Red Wine ($50)
A blend of merlot, cabernet sauvignon, tannat, and cabernet franc, with the merlot giving enjoyable cherry flavors and the tannat providing a pleasant “bite” at the end. You may want to decant a couple of hours early for all the flavors to blossom.
Biblia Chora Pangeon “Areti” White Wine 2014 ($24)
Crisp, green, sauvignon-like flavors that are quite refreshing.
Biblia Chrora Pangeon “Areti” Red Wine 2009 ($24)
A good steak wine – well-structured, lean fruit and a tart finish.
Biblia Chora Pangeon “Biblinos Oenos” 2011 ($43)
Dark cherry flavors, medium body, hint of crème fraiche with soft tannins in the finish.
Vinkara Ankara Kalecik Karasi Reserve 2012 ($20)
Nice creamy purple fruit with some spiciness – well-balanced.