I know that you are going to love what I am about to divulge of my first adventure into Brazilian wine. As a reader of my blog you are interested in wine and so will enjoy Pizzato Tannat Reserva 2012 because not only is it gorgeous but it is also a great focus for conversation.

Pizzato Tannat Reserva 2012 had a beautiful and intense colour of dark purple. At 6 years old, the rim of the wine was still quite pale indicating that it had not yet begun to age. The cedar nose reminded me of a Cabernet Sauvignon and the aroma was opulent and wood-like suggesting time spent in oak and this was confirmed on the tasting. When the wine was first opened it had aromas of leather followed by cedar then coconut. The coconut suggests that it had spent time in American rather than French oak barrels. On the first day, the palate was black fruit, black cherry, dark plum, leather, cedar and vanilla. I was expecting an austere wine, but it was smooth, inviting and elegant with a good balance of tannin and acidity. I kept the wine open for three days and it evolved each day. Each change was delicious, for example, on the second day the leather and cedar were still very heightened, but I could detect some spice. I tasted a crushed clove and then drank some wine. The wine was totally at ease with the clove and this was a very companionable drinking experience. On the third day the nose was all fruit and on the palate the blackcurrant was very pronounced with the leather and cedar dispersed. The acidity was fairly lively, and it gave this serious, dark, seductive wine a playful character. There was so much going on in the glass that I wished I’d had another bottle.

The Tannat grape has a thick skin and this contributes to the wine having a high tannin. Oak barrel aging does smooth out and relax tannin as does food, so the experience of the wine was intensified with food. I paired Pizzato Tannat Reserva 2012 with medium rare, grilled ribeye steak marinated in a Brazilian marinade served with Brazilian salsa verde and rosti potatoes. The wine came into its own with the steak giving me magnificent and enhanced length of leather, cedar and vanilla and the spice in the wine was heightened by the marinade. It was a true culinary experience.

I was surprised that such a complex wine was under £20. It is excellent value for money and this may be because Tannat is a relatively obscure grape here in the UK.

I have no doubt that you will find Pizzato Tannat Reserva 2012 as interesting and delicious as I did so treat yourself. You know you deserve it!

Pizzato Tannat Reserva 2012 is available from Go Brazil Wines It costs £19

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The influence of Italy on this wine can be witnessed in the name ‘Pizzato’, a region in Veneto, North East Italy and a family name, but the first vines were brought to Brazil from Portugal in 1532. In 1789 the Portuguese court prohibited the cultivation of grapes in Brazil in order to protect its own production of wine. Italian immigrants from Trento in Northern Italy to Rio Grande do Sul brought the technical knowledge about wine production to Brazil in 1875 where they improved the quality of the wine and afforded greater importance to it as an economic activity.