Rated the best Champagne-style sparkling wine in the new world at a tasting organised by acclaimed British wine consultant and journalist Stephen Spurrier.
Miolo Brut Millesime 2011:
Stephen Spurrier first came to worldwide recognition as the founder of L’Academie du Vin in France, where he organised in 1976 what came to be known as the "Judgement of Paris", in which a group of respected French critics and sommeliers scored a Chardonnay and a Cabernet Sauvignon from California more highly than some of the most prestigious wines of Burgundy and Bordeaux.
And, while that was an unexpected result, what might be even more unexpected is that the winner of the best Champagne-style sparkling wine at Spurrier's recent competition didn't come from the powerhouses of New Zealand, Australia, or South Africa, but from a country better known as the home of Pelé and Samba... Brazil.
So, while Miolo's Brut Millesime 2011 might be considered an unusual recommendation for a Europe-focused traditional merchant like us - at £20 per bottle, the value offered by this acclaimed vintage Champagne-style sparkling wine really is unusually good.
Growing a Sparkling Wine in Brazil:
Miolo is Brazil’s number one producer. Founded way back in 1897, it now owns a string of outstanding estates up and down the country, with the best quality wines originating from their holdings in the cooler south of the country, close to its border with Uruguay.
As well as its more southerly climate, the Vale dos Vinhedos from which Miolo's Brut Millesime 2011 originates, also benefits from the effect of its altitude, which results in very cool night-time temperatures and fresh, crisp, vibrant, character in its wines.
Nevertheless, we remained a little sceptical when we heard the result of the Spurrier-organised sparkling wine competition; with known high-quality producers in New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, it seemed unlikely that a superior sparkling wine could be found in Brazil.
But, we're happy to announce that the scales have fallen from our eyes - having tasted the 2011, we can report that it really is a world beater. With aromas of toasted brioche and green apples on the nose, the palate is dry, with very fine, delicate bubbles, crisp flavours of citrus and elderflower, and notes of freshly buttered toast in the finish.
We would challenge anybody to find a similarly priced Champagne that comes anywhere near to approaching the quality of this Brazilian Champagne-style sparkling wine.
The Brut Millesime drinks beautifully by itself as a drinks party aperitif, but would also partner Tempura dishes or (a personal favourite match) traditional British fish and chips.
Drink: Now - 2018