I love Madeira

Tasting notes, varietals, grapes - anything related to wine
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Laurent Gibet
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I love Madeira

#1 Post by Laurent Gibet » January 27th, 2020, 5:46 am

I recently had an interesting Madeira tasting.

The best wines turned out to be :
Barbeito "Verdelho" Reserva Velha 10 Ans" : 17,5/20
Pereira D'Oliveiras "Verdelho Frasqueira" 1994 : 17,5/20
Pereira D'Oliveiras "Sercial Frasqueira" 1969 : 17/20 (sercial particularly needs time)

In my pantheon :
Barbeito Malvoisie 1900 (thank you for the glass, Luis …)
Barbeito Verdelho Frasqueira 1981
Last edited by Laurent Gibet on March 12th, 2020, 9:25 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Markus S
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Re: I love Madeira

#2 Post by Markus S » January 27th, 2020, 6:16 am

So do I , but wish they were cheaper!
$ _ € ® e . k @

Laurent Gibet
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Re: I love Madeira

#3 Post by Laurent Gibet » January 27th, 2020, 6:19 am

Other interesting bottles :
Blandy's "Sercial 10 ans"
Blandy's "Verdleho 10 ans"
Blandy's "Malmsey 10 ans"
Barbeito "Boal" Reserva Velha 10 Ans"
Pereira D'Oliveiras "Sercial Colheita" 1999
Barbeito "Malvoisie Colheita Casco Unico 132 A+D" 2004

Flawed :
Madère : Pereira D'Oliveiras "Boal Colheita" 2001
Madère : Barbeito "Verdelho Frasqueira” 1992 (but another bottle founded great in 2016)
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Laurent Gibet
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Re: I love Madeira

#4 Post by Laurent Gibet » January 27th, 2020, 7:05 am

Markus S wrote:
January 27th, 2020, 6:16 am
So do I , but wish they were cheaper!
Barbeito "Verdelho" Reserva Velha 10 Ans" : bought 34 euros
Pereira D'Oliveiras "Verdelho Frasqueria" 1994 : 65 euros
Pereira D'Oliveiras "Sercial Frasqueria" 1969 : 165 euros

Blandy Verdelho 10 ans (16,5/20) : only 21 euros
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Eric Ifune
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Re: I love Madeira

#5 Post by Eric Ifune » January 27th, 2020, 4:06 pm

I'm a great fan of Borges 15 year old series.
Last month opened a 1850 Joao Lomelino Boal. Pretty good.
Will be visiting the island again later this year.

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Re: I love Madeira

#6 Post by Laurent Gibet » January 27th, 2020, 4:18 pm

Eric Ifune wrote:
January 27th, 2020, 4:06 pm
I'm a great fan of Borges 15 year old series.
Last month opened a 1850 Joao Lomelino Boal. Pretty good.
Will be visiting the island again later this year.
I don't know these wineries ... but it sounds great ...
Last edited by Laurent Gibet on January 27th, 2020, 4:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Ian H
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Re: I love Madeira

#7 Post by Ian H » January 27th, 2020, 4:20 pm

I own exactly one bottle of Madeira, purchased when I was in Portugal a couple years ago and tasted through some and enjoyed it, but had no reference point for what I was doing. There were several in the gift / wine shop where I was staying so picked up one for my wife's birth year. It's 1979 Blandy's Madeira Verdelho. I know next to nothing about Madeira! Any advice on this bottle? Food pairings, serving temp, decant, etc etc??
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Eric Ifune
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Re: I love Madeira

#8 Post by Eric Ifune » January 27th, 2020, 4:24 pm

I own exactly one bottle of Madeira, purchased when I was in Portugal a couple years ago and tasted through some and enjoyed it, but had no reference point for what I was doing. There were several in the gift / wine shop where I was staying so picked up one for my wife's birth year. It's 1979 Blandy's Madeira Verdelho. I know next to nothing about Madeira! Any advice on this bottle? Food pairings, serving temp, decant, etc etc??
Medium dry. Blandy's is a rich style, but it'll still have very high acidity. Would decant a day before, a week before wouldn't hurt. I like mine the same temperature as red wine. Fabulous with sushi and even fried chicken! But by itself with some softer cheese is fine as well. Remember the high acidity.

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Ian H
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Re: I love Madeira

#9 Post by Ian H » January 27th, 2020, 4:26 pm

Awesome thanks Eric. Sounds pretty versatile. What does the decant do for a Madeira? Does that just soften out it a bit?
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Re: I love Madeira

#10 Post by Laurent Gibet » January 27th, 2020, 4:30 pm

Ian H wrote:
January 27th, 2020, 4:20 pm
I own exactly one bottle of Madeira, purchased when I was in Portugal a couple years ago and tasted through some and enjoyed it, but had no reference point for what I was doing. There were several in the gift / wine shop where I was staying so picked up one for my wife's birth year. It's 1979 Blandy's Madeira Verdelho. I know next to nothing about Madeira! Any advice on this bottle? Food pairings, serving temp, decant, etc etc??
Verdelho is the best grape ... Sercial is more acid. Boal and Malmsay sweeter (and often less complex).
This Blandy's 1979 should be interesting ... Semi sweet rancio with a hint of sugar and specific acidity (lime). Complexity due to time ...
No decanting. 16°. see what happens when the wine gets hotter. And you can keep in for days after opening.
Very plastic : smoked salmon, game, cheese, desserts ... whatever you like ...
Tell us.

CT is enthusiast (94/100 - 2016/2050).
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Ian H
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Re: I love Madeira

#11 Post by Ian H » January 27th, 2020, 4:57 pm

Thanks for the advice Laurent. You guys have got me quite interested to pop this!
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Vince T
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Re: I love Madeira

#12 Post by Vince T » January 27th, 2020, 5:52 pm

Ian H wrote:
January 27th, 2020, 4:20 pm
I own exactly one bottle of Madeira, purchased when I was in Portugal a couple years ago and tasted through some and enjoyed it, but had no reference point for what I was doing. There were several in the gift / wine shop where I was staying so picked up one for my wife's birth year. It's 1979 Blandy's Madeira Verdelho. I know next to nothing about Madeira! Any advice on this bottle? Food pairings, serving temp, decant, etc etc??
Ooh ooh... an excellent wine. I brought a bottle to a friend's 40th, and I think we had it with ibeirico ham, marcona almonds and idiazabal cheese - perfect. It may have also paired deliciously with a buttercream frosted strawberry unicorn birthday cake as well. I would open it up a week in advance to air out the funk. You can double decant, but you don't need to - it's already fully oxidized.

My tasting note from a year ago:
  • 1979 Blandy's Madeira Verdelho - Portugal, Madeira (1/20/2019)
    Very very fine. A bit of acetone on the nose, but not too bothersome alongside the intense dried flowers and dried stone fruit. A steel spine of acidity that forms the backbone of this wine. Brilliant focus and concentration, moreso than the ‘77 Terrentez, perhaps a tiny bit sweeter, but completely in balance. Dried strawberry, dried nectarine, dried herbs, golden raisins, dusty rocks. Layers on the reveal and a solid minute plus finish. Still young and lots of upside. 95+ (95 pts.)
T s 3 n g

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Ian H
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Re: I love Madeira

#13 Post by Ian H » January 27th, 2020, 6:18 pm

Vince T wrote:
January 27th, 2020, 5:52 pm
Ian H wrote:
January 27th, 2020, 4:20 pm
I own exactly one bottle of Madeira, purchased when I was in Portugal a couple years ago and tasted through some and enjoyed it, but had no reference point for what I was doing. There were several in the gift / wine shop where I was staying so picked up one for my wife's birth year. It's 1979 Blandy's Madeira Verdelho. I know next to nothing about Madeira! Any advice on this bottle? Food pairings, serving temp, decant, etc etc??
Ooh ooh... an excellent wine. I brought a bottle to a friend's 40th, and I think we had it with ibeirico ham, marcona almonds and idiazabal cheese - perfect. It may have also paired deliciously with a buttercream frosted strawberry unicorn birthday cake as well. I would open it up a week in advance to air out the funk. You can double decant, but you don't need to - it's already fully oxidized.

My tasting note from a year ago:
  • 1979 Blandy's Madeira Verdelho - Portugal, Madeira (1/20/2019)
    Very very fine. A bit of acetone on the nose, but not too bothersome alongside the intense dried flowers and dried stone fruit. A steel spine of acidity that forms the backbone of this wine. Brilliant focus and concentration, moreso than the ‘77 Terrentez, perhaps a tiny bit sweeter, but completely in balance. Dried strawberry, dried nectarine, dried herbs, golden raisins, dusty rocks. Layers on the reveal and a solid minute plus finish. Still young and lots of upside. 95+ (95 pts.)

Sounds tremendous, good note. And sounds quite versatile.
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Re: I love Madeira

#14 Post by Charles Weiss » January 27th, 2020, 8:37 pm

I'm also a big fan of Madeira, and old enough to have seen an explosion in price. However, IMHO vintage Madeira is still a relative bargain given the age, the fact that provenance is unimportant, and that the bottle can be consumed for weeks/months/years after opening rather than a single night's indulgence.
In general I prefer D'Oliveira to Barbeito.
However, a good value in high quality Madeira is Rare Wine Co's Thomas Jefferson, which I believe is made by Barbeito. It's harder to find than others in the Rare Wine series. but I think a big step up.

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Re: I love Madeira

#15 Post by Eric Ifune » January 28th, 2020, 4:39 pm

Madeira revels in air. Many producers will repeatedly decant wines that have been in glass for a long time (decades) to refresh them. The 79 hasn't been in glass that long, but oxygen will certainly not hurt.

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Re: I love Madeira

#16 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum » January 28th, 2020, 4:49 pm

Eric Ifune wrote:
January 28th, 2020, 4:39 pm
Madeira revels in air. Many producers will repeatedly decant wines that have been in glass for a long time (decades) to refresh them. The 79 hasn't been in glass that long, but oxygen will certainly not hurt.
The rule of thumb I know and follow is a day in the decanter for every decade in glass. That last part is key, as Eric points out as well - not from the vintage date, from the date it was removed from cask.

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Re: I love Madeira

#17 Post by Fred Bower » January 28th, 2020, 5:32 pm

I can't keep Madeira in my cellar. I know it will keep once opened, but it is much safer in my stomach. I am a Terrantez fan, but like all of the styles at different times. I've had some great ancient wines from Madeira and wince at current pricing, but these are special wines.

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Re: I love Madeira

#18 Post by AD Northup » January 28th, 2020, 6:30 pm

Wasn’t a huge Madeira fan until this fall when I visited the island and stayed at Faja Dos Padres on a recommendation from this board, it’s a slippery slope given the broad availability of older vintages.
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Re: I love Madeira

#19 Post by Otto Forsberg » January 29th, 2020, 4:17 am

AD Northup wrote:
January 28th, 2020, 6:30 pm
Wasn’t a huge Madeira fan until this fall when I visited the island and stayed at Faja Dos Padres on a recommendation from this board, it’s a slippery slope given the broad availability of older vintages.
I've had only one Faja Dos Padres wine. Hands-down the most electric Malmsey I've ever had. Astounding stuff.

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Claus Jeppesen
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Re: I love Madeira

#20 Post by Claus Jeppesen » January 29th, 2020, 7:53 am

Laurent Gibet wrote:
January 27th, 2020, 4:30 pm
Ian H wrote:
January 27th, 2020, 4:20 pm
I own exactly one bottle of Madeira, purchased when I was in Portugal a couple years ago and tasted through some and enjoyed it, but had no reference point for what I was doing. There were several in the gift / wine shop where I was staying so picked up one for my wife's birth year. It's 1979 Blandy's Madeira Verdelho. I know next to nothing about Madeira! Any advice on this bottle? Food pairings, serving temp, decant, etc etc??
Verdelho is the best grape ... Sercial is more acid. Boal and Malmsay sweeter (and often less complex).
This Blandy's 1979 should be interesting ... Semi sweet rancio with a hint of sugar and specific acidity (lime). Complexity due to time ...
No decanting. 16°. see what happens when the wine gets hotter. And you can keep in for days after opening.
Very plastic : smoked salmon, game, cheese, desserts ... whatever you like ...
Tell us.

CT is enthusiast (94/100 - 2016/2050).
I like Terrantez very much
Recently a D'Oliveiras 1977 was making me dizzy
Claus

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Laurent Gibet
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Re: I love Madeira

#21 Post by Laurent Gibet » January 29th, 2020, 8:51 am

Claus Jeppesen wrote:
January 29th, 2020, 7:53 am
Laurent Gibet wrote:
January 27th, 2020, 4:30 pm
Ian H wrote:
January 27th, 2020, 4:20 pm
I own exactly one bottle of Madeira, purchased when I was in Portugal a couple years ago and tasted through some and enjoyed it, but had no reference point for what I was doing. There were several in the gift / wine shop where I was staying so picked up one for my wife's birth year. It's 1979 Blandy's Madeira Verdelho. I know next to nothing about Madeira! Any advice on this bottle? Food pairings, serving temp, decant, etc etc??
Verdelho is the best grape ... Sercial is more acid. Boal and Malmsay sweeter (and often less complex).
This Blandy's 1979 should be interesting ... Semi sweet rancio with a hint of sugar and specific acidity (lime). Complexity due to time ...
No decanting. 16°. see what happens when the wine gets hotter. And you can keep in for days after opening.
Very plastic : smoked salmon, game, cheese, desserts ... whatever you like ...
Tell us.

CT is enthusiast (94/100 - 2016/2050).
I like Terrantez very much
Recently a D'Oliveiras 1977 was making me dizzy
I rarely taste Terrantez.
Note the presence of tinta negra (not qualitative) and of bastardo (trousseau in Jura).

I formerly liked :
Justino Verdelho 10 years
Cossart Gordon & Co "10 years old - Medium Rich" NM Bual
Henriques & Henriques Verdelho 15 Years
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