There are places that you need to visit. Madeira is such a place. This is an island of immense beauty and fantastic natural scenic spots. It is also an island with some of the best wines you’ll ever find. The ocean and the volcanos are the base of the wines. The grapes are the stars and the winemakers paint on the canvas with 96% alcohol. Together they shine!
I’ve loved Madeira for a long time, the fortified wines of the islands are a beacon that lights up the darkest night. For me it is the pureness, the acidity and the notes of ocean that makes them special. Evan the sweet wines feel fresh, but as with all wines you should reach for the stars. With this I don’t necessarily a specific producer but wines above the entry levels.
7th #winelover anniversary on Madeira
The #winelover community got together at Madeira. About 40 people representing 19 countries. I dare to say all left with a new or renewed passion for the island and its wines, also the table wines.
For me the grapes are the superstars. Some claims that fortified wines are made, that the oak and the spirits hinds the terroir. I beg to differ! No matter if we are in Madeira, the Douro, Andalusia or Marsala. The wines shows both terroir, the grapes and the wine maker, when they are good. But as with all wines you need to learn to know them. In Madeira it is north and south of the island, it is the grapes:
Madeira grapes and styles of wine
Tinta negra mole. On this grape you can to all the styles of fortified wines on Madeira, extra dry (< 49 gram of sugar), dry (<59 grams of sugar), medium dry (59-78 grams of sugar), medium sweet (78-100 gram of sugar) and sweet (more than 100 grams of sugar). In total there are about 240 hectares of planted vines.
Sercial. This is the grape for extra dry and dry wines. It has a lovely freshness, high acidity and plenty of salinity. If you are an acid-head – go for this! In total there are about 23,5 hectares of planted vines.
Verdelho. This grape also have a fab acidity and for the medium dry wines. It is also the grape that consistently gives the best balance. Lots of depth and salinity. In total there are about 57,5 hectares of planted vines.
Boal/Bual. This grape is for medium sweet wines. When God created Madeira he thought of Boal, I’m sure. What it lacks in balance it takes back in complexity. I don’t have a sweet tooth in general, but OMG for me this is the climax drape of the island. Long, sweet, inciting, pocking and just great! In total there are about 13.9 hectares of planted vines.
Terrantez. This grape is for medium sweet wines. The again something needs to enchant God as well. This grape is the Sirens of Madeira, it will lure and memorize you. It has everything boal have combined with the freshness of the sercial. If you don’t love this, you don’t have a soul! In total there are only about 2.9 hectares of planted vines.
Malvasia (aka Malmsey). This grape is for sweet wines If you have a sweet tooth this is the wine for you. Still the wines feel fresh, or at least the best do. A dessert wine for the ages! In total there are only about 36 hectares of planted vines.
A big thank you to the wine producer that took us in and to IVBAM, the Madeira Wine Institute for letting us learn more about Madeira and its fab wines. A special thank you to Ana Sofia de Oliveira of the Wine Agency for making this anniversary come true.
Finally – go to Madeira, don’t miss it, it is absolutely fab, #winelover approved!
Magnus Reuterdahl, King of #winelover and wine writer at DinVinguide.se