I Have Just…

I have just drunk an 1870 Blandyโ€™s Verdelho Solera Madeira with fois gras.

No, it is not a typo.

It was fresh like a luscious (but elegant), butterscotch-flavored daisy.

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44 thoughts on “I Have Just…

  1. You’re such a tease! There has to be more to the story– did you just happen to have this lying around the house? Who were you with? Did they like it or did they make a face because the wine was too sweet?

    • You are going to make me pierce the veil of mystery…very well.
      I was fortunate enough to attend a historical Madeira tasting at Arrowine wine shop with the 7th generation Blandy’s Madeira Company owner (following their bicentennial celebration last year). Very exciting for a wine geek like myself. Vintage Madeira is aged for a minimum of 20 years, so we tasted a total of 9 Madeiras ranging from recent releases to 1870.

      Vintage Madeira is a wine of exquisite balance; I don’t believe anyone would have the heart to pronounce it “too sweet”.

      My eating and drinking companion 9 times out of 10 is my husband Jeff (he is the 2nd of the Two Pigs, although my enthusiasm alone often rivals that of several piglets). He is a delightful companion who has a very well developed palate ( that’s a nice way of saying he is spoilt rotten :-)). I do the spoiling, but you have probably already guessed that.

      • Your Hubster is a Blessed Bastard (I mean that as a compliment). As you have probably surmised by now, those of us with an affinity for good food and drink usually take spoiling our companions to extremes! Otherwise, what do you become? You become Richard Nixon– secretly sipping Chateau Margaux by yourself (http://sybaritesauvage.com/2011/05/08/another-nixonian-dilemma/). That ranges from being merely very sad to the completely pathetic. In his case probably more of the latter.

        You clearly have it figured out. I believe I do as well. At least that’s what Ms. R tell me…

      • I know what you mean. That’s why I have all those wine fridges (5 of them with 1000 bottles or so; it’s too wet for a cellar where I live). Except for French wine, it’s next to impossible to buy most wines properly aged. Everything is sold as soon as possible and then sadly drunk too young in many cases.

  2. How I wish I could have had a sip. Or even, had a sniff. Just the smell of that bottle must have been completely tantalizing. What aromas was your nose able to detect?

    Much more interesting, how did you get your hands on such a rare and venerable vintage?

  3. For me, Madeira is a totally unique wine in that it combines characteristics of several other fortified wines and spirits, turning it into a gentler, more complex drink with an amazing food affinity. The tasting organized by one of the wine shops in the DC area (in cooperation with The Madeira Wine Company) gave us an opportunity to experience several Madeira styles (Sercial, Verdelho, Bual, and Malmsey) and different vintages 1994, 1985, 1969, 1963, 1958, 1920, and the 1870. The nose and mouthfeel on all these wines was fascinating, with elements of sea water and funk on the dryer Madeiras, butterscotch on most of them, smokiness on the Bual (especially on those from Cossart Gordon), brandy-like vanilla, warm spices, and caramel on the rich Malmseys, and even intense fruitiness on a couple of Buals (dried apricots, figs, etc.)

  4. I haven’t tried a lot of madeira yet, and the ones I did try were a bit too oxidized for my taste. Your description sounds delicious though ๐Ÿ™‚

    For sherry “solera” means that it is actually lots of vintages mixed together in a system where each year the new wine is added after taking out some of the mix to make room for the new. The year then means the starting date of the solera, and so only part is actually from that year. I’ve had Pedro Ximenez from a Solera started in 1927 and that was very nice! I don’t know if the same applies to madeira.

  5. Wow! That must have been an interesting experience!! I wish I could have been there! Thanx for visiting my blog the other day. It gave me an opportunity to read this story! Hope to see your storys!

  6. You caught my eye w/this picture since my husband’s last night is Solera. I will definitely have to show it to him although he is of Italian ancestry rather than Portuguese. Thanks for stopping by,hope to see you again.

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