I think I’m still a bit in shock.
In a good way.
My recent press trip to Madeira was an amazing experience; pretty much exactly what a long-time Madeira wine geek (remember, I once compared Madeira to Iron Man) would have hoped it would be. And while my palate, brain, and soul are all still trying to wrap that jaunt up into something that puny morals like me can understand, I did manage to get it together juuuuuust enough to pen an introductory piece on the experience for Palate Press.
The premise for the feature, titled Tasting immortality, was to begin the article ‘s tasting notes with offerings that are at an age where most normal wines would be long dead (30 years). We would then travel back in time, via the older blends and vintage Madeira wines that I tasted on that trip, eventually working our way through all six of the island’s producers who currently export to the U.S.
Oh, yeah; and working our way through the 1950s, 1940s, 1920s… ending up at 1850. Without any hesitation or hyperbole, I can tell you that among those wines were some of the finest that I have ever tasted, of any style of fine wine, anywhere.
F*cking surreal (for more background on what makes Madeira special, beyond the near-constant influx of senior citizen tourists from much of Western Europe, see the previous post “The Worst Place in the World to Make Wine”). I’m pretty sure that I lost more than a few friends after posting envy-inducing images during my visit…
I’m hoping to collect myself sufficiently to provide additional coverage and thoughts on some of the producers I visited on that trip, but you can get a virtual taste for the experience now at https://www.palatepress.com/tasting-immortality/.
Here’s the run-down of the wines highlighted in the article (head over to PalatePress.com for the tasting notes); try not to cry when looking at the current selling prices for most of these:
- H.M. Borges 30 Year Old Malvazia
- Barbeito 40 Year Old Máe Manuela Malvasia
- Blandy’s 1976 Terrantez
- Henriques & Henriques 50 Year Old Tinta Negra
- Justino’s 1954 Verdelho
- Justino’s 1940 Sercial
- D’Oliveiras 1927 Bastardo
- D’Oliveiras 1901 Malvasia
- D’Oliveiras 1875 Moscatel
- D’Oliveiras 1862 Sercial
- D’Oliveiras 1850 Verdelho