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Re: VWP Blandy’s Madeira virtual tasting 19th Nov

Posted: 22:43 Fri 20 Nov 2020
by Glenn E.
I haven't tried the 1996 D'olly, but I did not like the 1991 (or 1990) as much as the 1989. When it was available, the 1989 was a real sleeper and a great value. As I recall I only have 3 left.

One of the bottles that I currently have open is an almost empty 1964 Blandy's Malvasia. A wonderful wine, but extremely difficult to find and I'm down to perhaps my last 2 glasses or I'd have joined the virtual tasting with a glass in hand.

Re: VWP Blandy’s Madeira virtual tasting 19th Nov

Posted: 11:04 Sun 22 Nov 2020
by JacobH
Thanks for all of these comments which are really interesting. I’ve only visited Madeira once and quite a few years ago (perhaps 2011 or 2012?) but I can certainly see the attraction in going there recently. We were hopeful that we’d be able to move on there after our trip to Porto earlier in the year (not least because of the favourable air corridor and lack of quarantine restrictions), although an urgent need to return to the UK stopped that...

I’ve actually be looking around for favourable destinations to relocate to during the winter if remote court hearings continue to be as popular as they are now (and some sort of Brexit deal is arranged which doesn’t cause GDPR problems). I hadn’t thought about Madeira before but it’s quite a good idea. Although having worked in Mauritius for a while, I am a bit wary of the quality of the internet connection of remote islands: I guess I need to investigate how many cables they have!

If you were thinking about spending, say £30 or £40 on a bottle of Madeira, what would you buy?

Re: VWP Blandy’s Madeira virtual tasting 19th Nov

Posted: 19:16 Sun 22 Nov 2020
by winesecretary
H&H 15 year old Verdelho, about 25 quid for a half litre.

Re: VWP Blandy’s Madeira virtual tasting 19th Nov

Posted: 20:17 Sun 22 Nov 2020
by JacobH
Thanks. I have some H&H 10 YO Malmsey open which compared quite favourably to the same from Blandy's in this tasting so I will keep and eye out for it.

Re: VWP Blandy’s Madeira virtual tasting 19th Nov

Posted: 20:23 Sun 22 Nov 2020
by CPR 1
I very much enjoyed the tasting and I learnt a lot given my almost zero prior knowledge of matters Madeira.

If not considered sacrilege, I found the raw Sercial went very well with tonic for a variation on white Port and tonic

Re: VWP Blandy’s Madeira virtual tasting 19th Nov

Posted: 19:56 Mon 23 Nov 2020
by winesecretary
@JacobH - H&H 15 yr old Verdelho is £20.99 in Waitrose which is very fair.

Re: VWP Blandy’s Madeira virtual tasting 19th Nov

Posted: 20:28 Mon 23 Nov 2020
by Glenn E.
JacobH wrote:
11:04 Sun 22 Nov 2020
If you were thinking about spending, say £30 or £40 on a bottle of Madeira, what would you buy?
I don't know what your prices are like in the UK, but in the US that price range equates to roughly a 10 year old in 750 ml or a 15 year old in 500 ml. H&H and Borges both make very nice lines from 5 to 30 years old across the 4 main (I think) noble grapes - Sercial, Verdelho, Bual, and Malvasia.

Here in the US we can also get the Rare Wine Company Historic Series in that price range ($50), which are similar in concept but are blends and thus don't have an age stated on the label. I very much like the RWC New York Malmsey, and I know that others like the Boston Bual, Savannah Verdelho, and Charleston Sercial. (Those are the ones kept in production, there are others that are limited editions such as the New Orleans Special Reserve or any of the ones named after the US Founding Fathers.) These are blended for RWC by Ricardo Freitas at Barbeito.

Any of those would be fine purchases. Which grape you get is a matter of personal preference - if you prefer dry madeira, get a Sercial or Verdelho. Or if you prefer sweet(er) madeira, get a Boal or Malvasia.

Note: even the sweetest Malvasias do not present as sweet as a tawny with an indication of age, primarily due to the much higher acidity in madeira. They may actually contain the same amount of sugar measured in g/l, but the acidity tends to dominate in madeira and make the wine feel and taste drier than it actually is.