Quinta do Seival Castas Portuguesas (Campanha, Brazil)

Quinta do Seival Castas Portuguesas

If you were planning an advertising campaign for the Brazil tourist board, you’d probably think of tanned bodies on Copacabana, bicycle-kicking footballers and capoeira. I doubt vineyards or wine would get a look in.

Gradually over the next decade that might begin to change. Brazil, always home to a large but largely dull domestic wine market, is beginning to look overseas and produce wines that are genuinely exciting. The story of South American wine in the UK could soon be about more than just Argentina and Chile.

Whilst most of the country still uses non-vitis vinifera grapes to make its wines, noble grapes are beginning to gain a stronghold. Increasingly, vineyard owners are considering which vine suits which terroir too, rather than just relying on international favourites such as Merlot and Chardonnay. These are all positive moves.

Quinta do Seival Castas PortuguesasTo our mind, one of the most exciting wine region is Campanha, on the border with Uruguay (itself known for some very good wines). The climate here is moderate with summer averaging around 24°C. The granite and limestone soils are very receptive to vines and there is sufficient rainfall to allow proper ripening without the need for irrigation.

The Quinta do Seival Castas Portuguesas certainly looks the part. The label is based on one of the oldest ever used by a Brazilian winery and could easily pass for a top Douro red with its proud display of its grape varieties: Touriga Nacional and Tinta Roriz, two of Portugal’s star grapes.

The taste is an echo of the old country too: spicy, dry, fruity and ripe with a lovely savoury edge and ever so slightly chunky tannins. Served blind over some roast pork belly a few weeks back, a knowledgeable friend picked it as a New World but only after some debate and was certainly surprised by the presence of ‘Brasil’ on the label.

The spotlight will be shining on Brazil with the World Cup and Olympics coming shortly and consumers will be increasingly receptive to trying all things Brazilian. If you are searching for something different on your wine list that works with a wide range of dishes, then look no further.  With tasting notes to highlight the similar flavour profile to rustic Rioja or staff who are happy to recommend a wine that’s far from a supermarket shelf, we are certain that this wine will add a lot to your list.

Gareth Groves
26th May 2011

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