Saturday, March 14, 2009

2007 Miolo Family Vineyards Pinot Noir Vale Dos Vinedos Benito Goncalves Brazil

2007 Miolo Family Vineyards Pinot Noir Vale Dos Vinedos Benito Goncalves Brazil
Suggested retail price $11-$13
Imported by Wonderful Ethnic Imports LLC, and distributed by Metro in NYC

The history of Miolo coincides with the arrival in mass of Italian immigrants searching for a new life and new opportunities in Brazil, in the late 19th century. Giuseppe Miolo arrived in 1897 with a passion for vine and wine. He bought a piece of land, called lot 43 at the time, which is thus now the name for their highest cuvee wine.

Back then, the Miolo family, with a few other Italian families, were pioneers in growing fine grapes in Brazil. However, like in many countries in Europe and other wine regions in the world, it was only during the mid-70s, early 80s, that wine and winemaking started to change for the better. New techniques, cleaner cellars, higher respect of the Terroir and more appropriate grape planted in the right type of soil, brought a new era for winemaking. More European properties were just starting to bottle their wine at the property and ageing in oak barrel became more common (I should write a post about this subject...). It is around that time that Giuseppe Miolo’s grandsons, Darcy, Antônio and Paulo became known in the region for the quality of their grapes, and later their wines.

In the late 80s, a crisis affected the Brazilian "caves cooperaties" (known as canteens) and the sales of grapes dropped. Thus, in 1989, the Miolo family decided to produce its own wine and sell it in bulk to other wineries. Vinicola Miolo was then established. However, Miolo only bottled its first wine under its own label in 1994. The demand was high and the growth was fast. Miolo had to adapt and expand.

In 1998, they started their "Quality Project" to introduce Brazilian wines to the world and expand even their business. They invested in tools, materials, land, vineyards and human resources; built better, more suitable and nicer facilities; and started to offer wines from different grape varieties. They never stopped growing since then...The Project for the Expression of the Brazilian Terroir was implemented.

To capture the true essence of the Brazilian Terroir, Miolo has vineyards in the 5 main wine regions of Brazil: Vale dos Vinhedos, Vale do São Francisco, Campanha, Campos de Cima da Serra and Serra Gaúcha. Some belong to them, some are part of alliances with key producers and vineyard owners. Miolo is working hard for the customers to recognize the quality of Brazilian wines and to put Brazil on the world wine map.

Located in the mountains of the State of Rio Grande do Sul (Serra Gaúcha), between the cities of Bento Gonçalves, Garibaldi and Monte Belo, the "Vale dos Vinhedos" (the Vineyard valley) is an area privileged by the tradition of production of fine wines and by being the first region of Brazil with geographical indication, certified by a Seal of Origin.

This 100% Pinot Noir, from Bento Goncalves - Vale dos Vinhedos, is really well made, somewhat a cross between a Burgundy and a Languedoc Pinot Noir, but earthier and rustic yet juicy with lovely fruit texture and structure. Light to medium bodied, with great acidity, it is a great example of Pinot Noir from Brazil that shouldn't be overlooked. It is pretty enjoyable on its own and is even better with light red meat dishes. I don't think that it sees any oak, but if it does, the oak influence and flavors are very neutral in the palate.

Info mostly taken from their website at


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  1. Fortunately for us, one is entitle to his opinion, every palate is different and not every body can enjoy or even comprehend every wine, especially the lesser known.

    I'm sorry that you didn't like it. I need to admit that Miolio Pinot Noir is a bit earthy and esoteric, and surely doesn't correspond to your every day wine, but I still think that it is an interesting wine to discover. The fruit is varietally correct and the acidity add balance and freshness. The overall wine is fairly pleasant and will surely please old world Pinot Noir drinkers.

    More over, compared to what Brazil used to produce before, it is definitely a great wine, especially at this price.

    LeDom du Vin