Malvasia * 50cl * 19% ABV * Madeira
The Blandys are unique in being the only family of all the original founders of the Madeira wine trade to still own and manage their own original wine company, maintaining a tradition that goes back to 1811. Whilst the island of Madeira makes relatively little wine, what it does make is well-known and well-loved for its unique fortified wine style, where it combines both acidity and sweetness (even dryness) in some of fortified wine’s most complex bottles. However, there is a world of difference between common or garden Madeira and Madeira made with time-honoured methods. Chief amongst these are the use (or not) of the modern “Eustafas” (essentially ovens that cook the wine) and the more traditional “Canteiro” – warehouses where the wines are allowed to warm gently and slowly, allowing for far more length and breadth of flavour development and complexity. Blandy’s 10 year old Malmsey uses Malvasia grapes that are then vinified using traditional Canteiro aging. This is slower, uses more labour and is more expensive, but the results speak for themselves: this is a remarkably complex, rich, more-ish, yet zippy fortified wine, thanks to Madeira’s always-thrilling acidity. A wonderful accompaniment to have with strong blue cheeses, or as a wine whose acidity will offset the sweetness of a divine sticky toffee pudding.
This wine doesn't need decanting and it will keep for several months after opening, so you can enjoy it slowly, unlike George, Duke of Clarence who drowned in a barrel of it in 1478. What a way to go...