The MCDXIX, The Winemaker’s Selection has a lucid dark tawny hue with a straw-colored rim and noticeable fat tears in the glass. The immediately striking bouquet presents delineated scents of desiccated orange peel, clove and antique mahogany bureau. With aeration, this Madeira closes in slightly and then really opens again after 24 hours, retaining class and composure. Although the exact blend of grape varieties has not been disclosed, the Sercial and Verdelho are more vocal than the Bual or Malmsey. Consequently, there is a certain edginess, a citric sharpness embroidered from start to finish. Saline and tangy, with veins of Seville orange marmalade enlivening the finish with a bitter twist, it reveals its discreet richness, courtesy of 100g/L residual sugar, on the aftertaste. This is an impressive Madeira wine worthy of celebrating the anniversary of the namesake island.
Anticipated maturity: 2019-2080
A wine blended to commemorate the discovery of Madeira by João Gonçalves Zarco in 1419. Wines from 1863 to 2004. There are eleven wines in the blend in total, including three from the rare Terrantez grape. Only 600 magnums to be released in September 2019. Medium-sweet style: 34 g/l dry extract, RS 95 g/l, TA 10.5 g/l. Blending this involved opening up all manner of ancient bottles – 1863, for example. ‘The less I knew about it the better’, says Chris Blandy. Brownish tawny with a green rim. Complex nose with obviously many ingredients. Mellow. Chestnut, butter, treacle, acidity! Passionfruit. Very fresh. Energetic. Even a note of brazil nuts. No shortage of interest in this extraordinary wine.