Campos de Cima

 

An unusual location for quality South American wines, the extreme Southwest of Brazil is predominantly cowboy country:  endless rolling plains mainly inhabited by beef cattle and punctuated with numerous natural lakes. Indeed, until the late 19th century, these badlands, which now straddle modern Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina, were essentially ungoverned. Even now the region can only be accessed by a handful of roads, and it feels very different from anywhere else we have experienced in Brazil.

It was a great surprise and pleasure then, in 2013, to meet Hortencia and José Ayub, owners of boutique winery Campos de Cima and pioneers of wine-making in this region of Campanha Oriental. Theirs is a small family operation which was inaugurated only a dozen years ago. It was at this time that Hortencia and José had the vision of creating fine wines originating in their homeland, and which has resulted in a 15 hectare vineyard on a gently sloping, north-facing hillside outside the town of Itaqui. This remote but beautiful spot – and all the surrounding land – has been in family hands for 150 years. A ranch-style farmhouse sits alongside the vineyard and is used for family gatherings, entertaining or simply enjoying the peace and quiet. The business also comprises a brand new, purpose-built winery in Itaqui, a small riverside community and border crossing point between Brazil and Argentina (the border is the river, confusingly called the ‘Rio Uruguai’ ).

Having imported both French and Italian rootstocks, in the early days the family turned to EMPRAPA, the Brazilian agricultural research agency, to help them with the technicalities of making wine. This approach paid off and the company was soon winning medals locally. With an increasing focus on quality over quantity, they then turned to French winemaker, Michel Fabre, and in 2014 he was given sole responsibility for the vintage. Fabre, as well as being a vineyard owner in his native ” Minervois”, southwest France, also has extensive wine-making experience in the north of Brazil and Argentina.

With a brief to bring out the best of the local terroir, Fabre has now produced a delicious clean floral Viognier and a powerful, rich Malbec/Shiraz/Tannat blend, branded Assinatura, both of which Go Brazil are proud to have introduced to the UK market in March 2015. Together with the 2011 vintage Brut (awarded an IWC Silver Medal in 2013 ) and Extra Brut Champenoise already on the Go Brazil range, we feel we have identified some elegant, high quality South American wines which are well differentiated from those elsewhere in Brazil, and indeed further afield.

 

Please see bottle images and tasting notes below.

Winery website: www.camposdecima.com.br

Wines from this winery

Campos de Cima Brut Champenoise 2012

NAME: CAMPOS de CIMA BRUT 2012 ( TRADITIONAL METHOD )

ABV: 12.5%

APPEARANCE:  Very deep gold-green colour

AROMAS: Pronounced tropical notes, including mango and passion fruit

TASTE:  Palate is dry, soft and rounded. Tropical fruits to the fore but biscuit-brioche notes are discernible too. Fine bubbles and persistent long finish. No oak used

FOOD PAIRING:  A great aperitif but works well too with light chicken dishes, risottos or salads

OVERALL:  Great value for aged fizz, the most rich and complex of all our Brut sparklers

£ 19.00 / bottle ( £ 114.00 / case x 6 )


Campos de Cima Extra Brut Champenoise 2012

NAME: CAMPOS de CIMA EXTRA BRUT 2012 ( TRADITIONAL METHOD )

ABV: 12.5%

APPEARANCE:  Very deep gold-green colour

AROMAS: Tropical fruits blended with yeasty, brioche notes

TASTE:  Full bodied but refreshing and dry, with ripe tropical fruits overlaying more mineral notes. Persistent fine mousse, fine bubbles and very long, lingering finish. Unoaked

FOOD PAIRING:  Pair with oysters, grilled fish and seafood in general

OVERALL:  Very high quality Trad method fizz, showing great complexity and finesse

£ 19.00 / bottle ( £ 114.00 / case x 6 )


Campos de Cima Viognier 2014

13 % Abv.

2015 Decanter Commended

An Unoaked blend of 90% Viognier & 10% Chardonnay.

Bright; light gold in colour with greeny reflexes. Lovely peachy apricot nose with hint of jasmine and acacia flowers. ‘Oily’ or ‘petrol’ character may also be present – typical of Viognier – but does not detract from wine. Clean and fresh palate with decent level of acidity. More ripe peach and stone fruit, and touch of white pepperiness also discernible. Medium bodied with good rounded mouthfeel and almost honeyed texture.

Drink within next year or so.

One of the most versatile South American white wines, this may be drunk chilled (8-10˚C) as an aperitif, or served with salads, light or mildly flavoured white meat or fish/seafood dishes.

Now out of stock – 2017 vintage due in stock Q4 2017


Campos de Cima Assinatura 2014

13% Abv

2015 Decanter Commended 

Blend of 70% Malbec, 25% Shiraz & 5% Tannat, aged in new French oak for 6 months.

1500 bottles only of “Assinatura” ( meaning ‘signature’ in Portuguese ) were produced, each one individually numbered.

Bright and deep red-ruby colour. Nose shows a rich and attractive perfume. Belies its youth, with concentrated palate of ripe red fruits, with flavours of tobacco, black pepper and liquorice. The oak is well integrated, lends structure without dominating. Dry, full bodied, with smooth almost silky tannins, long, lingering finish.

Drinking very well now – but has the potential for many more years development.

Serve at just below room temperature ( 18°C ); either on its own or perhaps better with marinated meats, venison, game or well flavoured cheeses.

2014 now out of stock – wine is made only in very best vintages, and we expect news on possible release of 2017 vintage in October


Campos de Cima Origem 2014

NAME: ORIGEM 2014 ( blend of Merlot, Tannat, Cabernet Sauvignon & Cabernet Franc )

ABV: 12.5%

APPEARANCE:  Deep ruby purple

AROMAS:  Lightly scented plum and black cherry nose

TASTE:  Ripe, sweet dark fruits with an involving, earthy character. Unoaked, with some spiciness and a hint of black cherry on finish

FOOD PAIRING: Barbecued meats, curries or other strongly flavoured dishes

OVERALL:  Bold, rustic full bodied red, ideal for BBQs

£ 4.50 / bottle  ( £ 27.00 / case x 6 )  previously £ 6.00 / bottle