The wine’s appearance is clear, with deep intense ruby color, and ruby stained tears.
The wine was clean, medium (+) intensity aroma. Aroma characteristics were primarily blackberry, bramble, olive, black pepper, licorice, savoury and cinnamon. This wine was still developing when tasted in September 2019.
On the palate, the wine was dry, medium (+) acidity, medium tannin, medium (+) alcohol, medium (+) body, medium (+) flavor intensity, and a medium finish.
The quality level is very good, you can drink it now but it has the potential for aging a couple more years.
We took our tasting notes about an hour after the wine was opened and served. When we tasted the wine right after pouring, we noticed it would benefit from decanting. As the evening progressed, the wine continued to open up and the aromas were primarily blackberry and olive. We enjoyed this wine with a slow-roasted pork shoulder, rice and beans. Most of the wine was consumed that evening. The one glass of wine left over still held up well the next day.
Why does this Brazilian Syrah taste like this?
The Vale do São Francisco Valley is a unique environment within which to grow Syrah. It’s a tropical region, spanning the states of Bahia and Pernambuco in northeast Brazil. Growing grapes in tropical regions are rare, however, in this region producers know a lot about agronomics and growing grapes in this unique environment.
Since it is so hot in this region, the style of Syrah is somewhat between that of Syrah-predominant blends of the warm Southern Rhone and what Australians call Shiraz style of Syrah wines. In summary, all these wines are fruit-forward and made for easy drinking. There are just a few wineries like Vinicola Ouro Verde as part of the Miolo Wine Group with a focus on fine wine expression of Syrah in this area of Brazil.
If you like the flavors of “Rhone Rangers” wines from Paso Robles or Syrah-forward wines from the Southern Rhone and Languedoc you might like wines like this. If you find most Shiraz wines from Australia to be too strong or robust, you may like wine like this.
Testardi Syrah Food Pairing
The wine’s medium-high acidity, higher alcohol and heavier mouthfeel make it a good pairing with red meats and vegetarian dishes that emphasize heavy beans like black beans.
Classically, Syrah wines are paired with grilled red meats, smoked meats or BBQ as the char that comes with these cooking methods plays nicely with the pepper and savory aromas of the wine.
This wine is too robust for delicate fish or poultry dishes. The intensity of the wine is too much and will overpower most fish and many chicken dishes.
Where to Purchase
After reading about this region in Wines of South America by Evan Goldstein, I was happy to receive one of these wines from a former employee in a bottle exchange while visiting Brazil.
Want to learn more about this region? Check out this blog from a local.
And here is one of the best resources on wines from South America:
Wines from this region are difficult (but not impossible) to come by in the US. Check with your local bottle shop if you find this wine interesting.