On Tuesday I had the opportunity to attend a Madeira Tasting in NYC. Over 50 wines from approximately half a dozen Madeira producers were represented. This is a fascinating and informative way to taste one category of wine side by side. While the history of Madeira is a long one, it doesn't get as much attention from American Consumers and writers as Port often does. Hopefully with time that will change. Madeira can be just as interesting, complex and age worthy as port. Also like Port, Madeira can be made in a number of varying styles. Each producer that was represented was pouring a broad selection of Madeira. Of the producers present several stood out for me. However none more so than Broadbent. From their Rainwater which is a Madeira meant to be consumed young through a 10 year old Malmsey and all the way to their oldest and most layered selections, The Broadbent wines were impressive across the board. A house style was evident that led me from wine to wine like a connective taste tissue. However each wine was distinctive in it's own way. The 5 year old reserve priced in the mid $20's struck me as the top overall bargain. However I enjoyed each one and hope to take a closer look at a couple of them in the future.
The other wine that most impressed me was the Blandy's Terrantez 1976. Among other qualities this wine had an excellent finish that seemed to go on forever. Conversely their 1977 was one of my least favorites of the day. The Barbeito Malvasia 30 year old Special Lot Madeira was another standout for me.
At the end of the day, having tasted over 50 wines in varying styles and price ranges from $15 to $500 there is one absolute. There is plenty of excellent and diverse Madeira available. Regardless of your level of drinking sophistication, or budget, you should have no problem finding one to enjoy.
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