Item Number: 341
Sub Region: Madeira
Appellation/AVA: Madeira DOC
Type: Wine - Fortified
Bottle Size: 750ml Pack: 1
Winemaking Notes: For many Madeira lovers, Buals offer the best combination of richness and elegance. The sweetness of the wine (up to 3.5% residual sugar) is balanced by the tang of acidity; the texture, after suitable maturing, is silky and elegant; in a fine example, the finish is relatively dry and refreshing. The Bual vines, grown up to a quarter-mile elevation, are not very prolific and only small amounts of this classic grape variety are produced.
About Madeira: The small, steep volcanic island of Madeira off the coast of Portugal was historically an important port of call for ships en route to Africa, Asia, and South America, and, in turn, became an important port of call for sailors to stock up on booze. By the end of the 16th century, the Madeiran wine industry had become an international phenomenon. The wines were originally fortified to help them last through their long sea journeys, but drinkers soon developed a taste for the maturation that the heat and the rolling of the ship provided. The wine became so popular in the North American colonies that it was used to toast the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
The major grapes in Madeira are Sercial, Verdelho, Bual, and Malvasia, each vinified to a unique style and level of sweetness. Long ship journeys are no longer used for aging, but rather, the estufa method is often employed, in which hot water circulates through a coil in the middle of a steel tank, heating the wine for 90 days, or the wine is stored in a room with steam pipes for 6 months to a year. The finest madeiras, though, are made without any heating besides the sun and time (20 years!). Madeira is decidedly unique, and quite probably the world’s longest living wine.