Madeira Wine Company Madeira
This is the leading producer of Madeira and includes the well-known brand names of Blandy’s, Cossart Gordon and Leacocks. Some marvellous Vintage Madeiras are made but only in small quantities, usually only a few thousand bottles at best. The bigger-volume, so-called commercial Madeiras with an indication of age can show plenty of style too, if not the same concentration or complexity. Wines labelled with one of the noble varieties (most are almost 100% rather than the required minimum of 85%) are now only made using the canteiro system and used American oak casks are employed for ageing. Blandy’s wines are generally richer and sweeter than those of Cossart Gordon but the wines are similarly made. Cossart Gordon’s 10-year-old Verdelho and Bual are particularly fine for this level, the delicacy and harmony of the Verdelho contrasting with the tangy, orangey, peel-and-spice fruit intensity of the richer Bual. Blandy’s 5-year-old Alvada is an innovative rich and soft, vanilla-edged blend of Bual and Malmsey aimed at winning a new audience for Madeira. Blandy’s 15-year-old Malmsey is both concentrated and elegant and is a significant step up from the 10-year-old version. A series of ‘Colheita’ Madeira from relatively recent vintages are also made under the Cossart Gordon and Blandy’s label – both excellent. For the many fine old Vintage Madeiras see a specialist; both Cossart Gordon and Blandy’s include rare vintages of Terrantez. A 1968 Verdelho Blandy’s is very tangy and intense while a 1958 Bual (either Cossart Gordon or Blandy’s) is very fruit-rich and is fine now but should be stashed away for another 50 years. Alternatively, don’t wait, go directly for a 1908 Bual Cossart Gordon (bottled 1985) for wonderful richness, complexity, texture and length.
To find out more about Madeira Wine Company and their wines, and to see how we reviewed and rated their wines you can check out the Wine Guide Portugal..
Or indeed you can check out the new extensively updated 9th edition Wine Behind the Label Wine Guide that is 2250 pages, it reviews around 4000 vineyards and over 30,000 wines.