Guaspari Vista do Chá Syrah 2012

Guaspari Vista do Chá Syrah 2012, Brazil, 14%

(£56.50, Hedonism (UK) – US$ 47.27 Baccos, Vino Mundi (Brazil))

A wine from off the radar. I first tried this ground-breaking red when I visited Brazil earlier this year, in the company of renowned local wine journalist Jorge Lucki. The second time I tried it was tasting blind as chair of the Chile & Brazil panel for the Decanter World Wine Awards 2016, when we gave it a gold medal.

Both times, it just sang: a really elegant, refreshing red, with that wonderful Syrah scent of black pepper and violets, and a juicy, rounded, gently spicy flavour profile. This in itself isn’t newsworthy: it’s the fact it’s grown on a former coffee farm north of São Paulo (Espírito Santo do Pinhal, to be precise) in hitherto largely uncharted territory for wine. It’s a warm area year round so the vines’ growing season is manipulated by pruning and irrigation. In this way, harvest time is scheduled for winter, ‘when the weather is similar to the great wine regions of the world,’ according to the winery. It’s a project that has everyone talking. Including me. (8.5/10, Peter, April 2016)