Henriques & Henriques Malmsey 10 YO Madeira tasting
Once more, we are here to kindly invite you all, to dip the nose into a glass of beautifully shining, heavenly scenting and perfectly manufactured drink from the world of fortified goods. How about the little known treasure (some might rather call it mystery) “ Madeira ” –well, not just the island but also the wine.
Here at Bitterbooze’s Factotum Fortified, we took an in-depth look at Portugal’s other fortified wine a while ago, talking to a true expert and regular visitor to the island in the Atlantic Ocean, more than 700km west of Africa’s coastal line.
Now, it’s time to get the juices flowing, in the truest sense of the word.
The wide spectrum of Madeira wine styles is just one of the many reasons you should give the category a try, creeping over the aromatic and flavourful diversity like a curious pioneer and discoverer.
Malmsay, or Malvasia as it is pronounced correctly, not only describes a well known white grape variety, but also one of the four individually recognised styles of Madeira wine –proudly sitting next to dry Sercial, a medium-dry Verdelho, medium-sweet Bual or Terrantez.
Enough said, have a sip and enjoy the ride.
This bottle derives from Henriques & Henriques’ elaborate range of Madeiras, with the company’s roots dating back as far as the 1850s. Today the privately owned enterprise is the biggest independent producer, bottler and shipper on the island.
Malmsey Madeira 10YO, Henriques & Henriques, 20% vol.
Crisp, crystal clear, brightly shimmering brown, slight olive elucidation around the edges, very viscous, almost oily.
The nose is clear, perfumy and very aromatic, velvety grape character, green walnuts, toffee and tobacco, reminiscence of jam and plum compote, a hint of nutmeg, lemon drops wrapped in brioche, yeast and fresh sourdough, overripe tropical fruits, could be pineapple, could be guava, well balanced, ripe and mature, very complex
The palate opens with a medium sweet, velvety impression, dancing-crisp sour and bitter notes, perfectly balancing the luscious tone, again grape must, coffee and roasted nuts, pineapple coated in warming waves of alcohol, elegant fingerprint, but a fat and opulent body, very long, intense, great finish!
This wine proudly shows its quality and convinces on many levels -especially impressive when it comes to value for money.
Balanced, harmonious, if only there could be a little more complexity –but then again: this beauty bears a “10years old” age statement on the label. For that age well, more than “allright”, “fair enough”, well done Henriques & Henriques.