About MalvasiaKnown variously as Malvasia, Malvazia and Malmsey, Malvasia is historically the most celebrated of the classic grapes varieties on the island: the sweetest and most unctuous of madeiras—the stuff of legends, literature and song. Yet there are at least two, genetically distinct Malvasia now planted on the island: Malvasia Cândida and Malvasia Branca de São Jorge. Thought to have first been planted in the fifteenth century, the former is notoriously difficult to grow and now quite limited in acreage. Malvasia Branca de São Jorge was first planted during the late-1960s and early 70s; it dominates all Malvasia bottlings since that time and accounts for the large majority of Malvasia’s 37 ha currently planted on the island. In its youth, Malvasia is lighter-hued than Boal, but with elevage it darkens considerably, resulting in wines that are full-bodied and opulent, rich with flavors of toffee, molasses, caramel, coffee, quince and spice cake, yet (like all madeiras) never cloying.
Tasting NotesH&H Malvasia 15-Year is an eloquent prolegomenon to the delights of garrafeira (vintage) madeira: its amplified dimensions, lambent concentration and incisive dispatch. Glazed walnut, crème brûlée, fig toffee and clove-scented marmalade flavors are elevated and delineated by the wine’s mineral depths and lilting acidity. The languorous finish recedes like a late-afternoon tide towards its reunion with the sunset.
Pairing RecommendationsAt the table: with roasted nuts (especially walnuts) and blue-veined cheeses. For dessert: with crème caramel or brûlée, tarte tatin, classic bolo de mel, and coffee-accented sweets. As a digestif: solo, or with a full-bodied cigar.
About Henriques & Henriques
It might be said that the history of Henriques & Henriques is the history of Madeira itself. Legend has it that Infante Dom Henriques planted the island’s first vines in 1425. These vines gave fruit to one of the “first families of Madeira” and in the process sunk deep roots which Henriques’ descendants and successors continue to draw upon in guiding H&H today.
João Joaquim Gonçalves Henriques founded the firm in 1850 as a partidista, supplying wine to other merchants from extensive Henriques vineyard holdings while continuing to amass significant stocks of old wines in the family cellars. In 1925, Henriques & Henriques began to bottle and export Madeira produced entirely from their own vineyards—an anomaly amongst producers on the island. Today, Henriques & Henriques is led by CEO and winemaker Humberto Jardim, one of Madeira’s great visionaries and ambassadors. The firm continues to source some of its needs from its own vineyards, most notably from a terraced, 10-hectare vineyard at Quinta Grande—the single largest on island, replanted in 1995.
Against the tides of urban development, H&H have been in the forefront of vineyard planting and preservation of Madeira’s noble varieties: Sercial, Verdelho, Boal, Malvasia and Terrantez, while simultaneously playing a key role in the reappraisal of the underrated Tinta Negra, recently releasing an unprecedented 50-year expression. Likewise, H&H’s age-statement varietal wines are widely regarded as benchmark articulations: always 100% of the stated varietal (e.g., Verdelho), the blend always composed of stocks well in excess of the statement requirement (e.g., 15-year).
Finally, H&H continues to boast an impressive selection of pre-1925 “Garrafeira” (vintage) and Solera bottlings originating in the Henriques’ family cellars. Without question, the most celebrated of these is the “Heavenly Quartet”—four legendary wines from the late 18th century—that are amongst the most transcendent expressions of Madeira extant today. To taste any one of these is, quite literally, to “drink history” itself, as well as to share in the accumulated wisdom—of family, family-owned vineyards and old stocks—that continue to define Henriques & Henriques today. Full details
About Madeira DOCThe archipelago of Madeira has long profited from its position in shipping lanes, from the 1500s, when ships under sail called at Funchal to pick up food and wine before the trade winds blew their ships west to the New World, to today, when cruise ships dock and world travelers sample the foods, crafts, and wines of the island. The Madeira DOC governs the fortified and heated-to-oxidation wines of the island, regulating the grapes, minimum age, and residual sugars of each category. While the Madeira laws give producers plenty of leeway in terms of blending and age statements, Henriques & Henriques’ blending approach is crystal clear—true minimum age statements and only monovarietal wines.
|Cepage||100% Malvasia (Malvasia Branca de São Jorge; Malvasia Cândida)|
|Terrain/Climate||mountainous; subtropical but highly varied|
|Soil Type||mixed volcanic (basalt, tufa)|
|Vine Training||latada (pergola)|
|Harvest||mid-August to early September; hand-harvested|
|Fermentation||some whole-cluster; skin maceration; fermented in lagares with native yeasts|
|Fortification||neutral grape spirit (96% abv)|
|Elevage||in canteiro for a minimum of 15 years|
|Total acidity||5.2 g/l|
|Total extract||140.7 g/l|
|SKU||Vintage||Region||Origin||Desc||Cepage||% Alc||Size/Pack||Finish||BTL Barcode||Cs Barcode||Cs Wgt|
|HZ 6557||NV||Madeira||PT||Oxidative/Oxidized Wine; Fortified||100% Malvasia||20.0%||750/6||T Cap||5601196010863||35601196010864||8.50 kg|