Vik Winery Blows It Away At Fogo de Chão
by Andrew Chalk
It was packed tonight at Fogo de Chão, and Vik Winery blew the crowd away with four stellar wines, all of them on the Fogo wine list, presented by Vik founder and owner, Alex Vik. It was acompanied by a five-course feast from Fogo de Chão, expertly delivered by their professional serving team. I had the good fortune to be a media guest.
We started with Vik’s 2021 La Piu Belle Rosé, a blend of cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, and syrah that is bright, light, and went well with the charcuterie board.
Then we switched to the reds. First up was the 2018 La Piu Belle Red Blend, a carménère, cabernet sauvignon, and syrah. This had a nose of pyrazines (green pepper), cassis, French oak, mocha, coffee, and earthy notes. Very complex with a seeming promise to get better with time. On the palate it was mainly the blackcurrant fruit, grippy tannins and perfume. The Fogo de Chão butternut squash soup with roasted roots salad was a great cool-weather accompaniment.
This was my favorite wine of the night, although I would put it away for five or so years, expecting it to get even better.
Next was the 2018 Milla Calla Red Blend composed of cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, merlot, carménère, and syrah. A less expensive, simpler red to be drunk now. The nose has pyrazines, raspberries, and roses. On the palate there are ripping tannins and tastes of pyrazines that fill the mouth. No doubt, tannins rule this wine. Alongside was the first of two plates of the meat for which Fogo de Chão is best known. On this plate picanha (top sirloin cap), fraldinha (flank steak), and parmesan pork. It was the picanha that I ordered seconds of and found best with the wine.
For course four we had a wine with a bit of age. The 2016 Vik Red Blend, a wine that Alex Vik described as the best his winery had ever made and which scored 99/100 points from critic James Suckling. A blend of cabernet sauvignon,cabernet franc, carménère, merlot and syrah this was certainly a powerful but refined wine. The appearance was opaque ruby. The nose was pyrazines, cinnamon, French oak. In the mouth the wine was effusive blackcurrant with softer tannins than the earlier reds. The meat here came from the top end of the Fogo selection. Filet mignon, wagyu beef, and lamb chops. All were a great match with the wine.
My take on Vik is that they are experts at Bordeaux blend red wines. Their wines are ideal for the rich meats that Fogo de Chão guests love and so many Americans enjoy at home.