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Decanter said it best, “If ever there was a bottle of wine to take to a desert island, Madeira has to be the one.”
Madeira is a Portuguese Island, (that was the favorite destination of Sir Winston Churchill,) which is located in the Atlantic, 700km off the coast of Africa. Its fertile volcanic soils, naturally high yields, and microclimate factors make this a paradise on earth and the perfect place to produce the ultimate, long-lasting sweet wine.
Americans loved Madeira just as much as Sir Winston Churchill, in the 18th century, this was the most coveted wine in the USA. It used to be the go-to wine for Presidents, and important personalities in the country. Fun fact: It was the wine selected to toast the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and George Washington’s Inauguration.
Some years passed by, and Madeira was overshadowed, but it all changed in the 21st century, with the creation of stunning wines like The Rare Wine Co.’s Historic Series, which arose that same excitement for Madeira as many years ago.
RWC Historic Series is a project between The Rare Wine Co. (premium wine merchants) and top Madeira producer, Vinhos Barbeito. It was born with the dream of creating top-quality Madeira at affordable prices.
The Rare Wine Co. Historic Series’ wines are remarkable. They have been instrumental in rekindling interest in Madeira in the United States, and according to Wine Enthusiast, they have “set the bar as benchmark offerings for non-vintage Madeiras.”
The names behind these wines come from cities in the US, where Madeira was extremely popular back in the 18th century. New York Malmsey acknowledges the North’s appreciation of sweeter Madeiras.
Food & Wine Magazine describes New York as “Incredibly rich, with dark fruitcake flavors and dry spice that balances its sweetness...”
Aging: Fermented to 96-135g/l sugar, and then brandy is added to stop fermentation and to achieve a final alcohol level between 17% and 20%. Aged in cask.
Tasting Notes: 85% Malvasia with a portion of very old wines. This wine is a work of art. There is just enough sweetness to excel as an after-dinner wine, but its long, dry finish also makes it work beautifully with food. Note that, after opening this wine, it can last for 3 or 4 months in your refrigerator.
Fantastic opulence, with oxidized aromas, but plenty of nutty, dark, tobacco, and chocolate character. Delightful stuff, with a rich mouthfeel and huge, mouth-filling sweetness. The thick, mouth-coating texture is cut by an orangy acidity, with spices, glace fruit, and lemon peel Christmas cake notes and a hedonistic weight and richness. ~93 Tom Cannavan
The sweetest and richest in the Historic series, the New York Malmsey unfolds slowly in the glass, gradually revealing layers of depth and flavor. Coffee, toffee, and date notes emerge, followed by earthy, almost truffley flavors. Powerful and assertive on the long finish. ~93 Wine Enthusiast
Medium amber. The powerfully scented bouquet combines cherry compote, cola, molasses, pipe tobacco, and brown sugar. Lush and expansive in the mouth, offering sweet pit fruit and orange marmalade flavors and a deeper note of espresso. Clings tenaciously on the finish, which leaves notes of bitter cherry and candied flowers behind. ~92 Vinous Media
Rich and spicy, with a creamy texture and plenty of buttery notes to the dried apricot and roasted pineapple flavors. Smoke and cedary accents show on the plush finish. Drink now through 2030. 600 cases imported. ~91 Wine Spectator
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