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madeira under a $100

I'd like to get a bottle in said price range, so vintage stuff is out, but I'm willing to spend more than the $10-20 that the cherapest bottles of madeira apprear to cost if there's going to be a difference. I'm looking for something dessert-style, so nothing too dry here. Do you have thoughts on the Blandy's 15-year old or the Rare Wine Company's selections? Thanks for your help.

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  1. My husband and I both LOVE Madeira and have tried almost every brand available in our area. Blandy's and Cossart Gordon make some of the best we have ever had. My husband loves the 15 year Malmsey as he likes it a touch sweeter than I do. For me the 15 year Bual is one of my favorite treats served with creamy blue cheese.

    1. Dessert Madeiras are sexy and voluptuous. My favorite is the Henriques & Henriques Malmsey, but I have swooned over the Cossart Gordon Malmsey also.

      1 Reply
      1. re: maria lorraine

        Henriques & Henriques is AWESOME! (And IMHO, preferable to the very good Symington's Cossart/Blandy/Leacock conglomerate.)

        I'd recommend the 15 year old H&H Malmsey or Bual.

        FWIW, I prefer t hese to the Rare Wine Co. bottlings also.

      2. A friend turned me on to the $39-for-a-decent-size-bottle madeira from V. Sattui's Napa winery:
        http://www.vsattui.com/show/xmlsite/x...

        "Still the oldest, traditionally-made Madeira wine produced in the U.S., it is a brandy-laced, tawny port-like, after-dinner wine crafted in the style reminiscent of Madeiras made in the colonies by English settlers in the early 1800s and, today, on the island of Madeira itself." Etc. etc.

        It's gorgeous and other madeiras I've tried in the $10-30 range per bottle just have been lacking in comparison. V. Sattui does ship, but only in 6 or 12-bottle increments. Other things they have there that are very good (if you like these varieties) and less $ to fill out the six-bottle order are Muscat and Gamay Rouge... they also have a bunch of other more commonly sipped wines that I haven't tried. If it were me and I liked madeira, I'd get two bottles of that at least as part of whatever 6-bottle order I tried.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Cinnamon

          Yeah, but it's not really Madeira . . .

        2. The RWC offerings are fantastic. They are all $39 at the time of writing and you can order a three bottle sampler from them for $110. The "New York" malmsey is a great dessert wine, and the sercial is perfect for any occasion. They are also releasing a "New Orleans" Terrantez/Tinta Negra Mole which should be out by the end of the summer. A wine made in California may be a "madeira-style" wine, but it will never be madeira. In the same sense that Bordeaux does not come from Napa.

          5 Replies
          1. re: malmsey1

            Those are great values. RWC also has a few vintage Madeiras for under $100.

            http://www.rarewineco.com/html/list.htm

            There's no law that stops V. Sattui from labeling their wine "Madeira," but it's not. It's not even made from the right grape varieties.

            1. re: malmsey1

              No one has mentioned the RWC Boston Bual, it is my favorite of the three and performs far above its price point. I didn't know about the Terrantez/Negra Mole on the way, can't wait to try it.

              1. re: Melanie Wong

                awesome. was thinking about picking up a bottle of Bual, sounds like this will be the one. Muchas Garcias Ms. Wong :-)

                1. re: ttriche

                  Well, I'm a Bual person generally. I find it more versatile. Not as sweet and dessert-ish as Malmsey, and more for after-dinner than Sercial. It's a great accompaniment to nuts and cheese after dinner. Other times when I'm by myself and don't feel like opening a whole bottle of wine, a few ounces of madeira is a welcome night cap. Or to put it another way, I bought a bottle of the RWC Bual and RWC Sercial at the same time. The bual is gone and I still have 2/3 of the Sercial. (g)

              2. re: malmsey1

                RWC's trio are absolutely unbeatable for the money. They are classic examples of the various styles.

                RWC also has an excellent selection of vintage Madeiras. They are not cheap but they can be stunning revelations.

              3. I'll second the recommendation for V. Sattui. I've been drinking it since it was $25 a bottle, and it has been going up fast. Now up around $40, I think...

                1 Reply
                1. re: The Perrer Assassin

                  I first tried that about 1980-1985 and thought it was freaking great. And cheap enough for a recent graduate to afford.

                2. I am mid-bottle of the RWC Historic Series "New Orleans" Terrantez/Tinta Negra Mole. It is very good and in the $60 range.

                  My favorite QPR Madeira is the Broadbent 10 year old Malmsey for $30-35. Fantastic quality and value.

                  Roy Hersh
                  www.fortheloveofport.com

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Roy Hersh

                    Oh wow, the man himself has arrived on CH! I greatly enjoyed reading your write-up of the Great New York Madeira Tasting... it still blows my mind that the 1834 Barbeito is regarded as relatively common among serious Madeira lovers. One of these days before the barrel is dry, I'm going to take a trip to the island and hope for the best.

                    Anyways, do you have any opinion on the Cossart-Gordan 1995 Boal? I have not yet tried a Bual of any stature and a local store has a reasonable price on this offering.

                    Thanks again for your entertaining writings Mr. Hersh.

                    1. re: Roy Hersh

                      Hey, Roy -- good to "see" you over here! ;^)

                    2. You're very safe with any of the Madeira Wine Company offerings (Blandy, Cossart Gordon, Leacock) - they're actually the same wine with different labels, so buy the cheapest.
                      I find the Bual versions offer the best values at the lower end (5 or 10 yr-old) - the lower end malmseys can be a bit cloying in the finish - but once you get to the 15 yr-old (or Vintage) the malmseys hold their own. If you can find it, I think that Miles madeira is typically a bit cheaper - and certainly up to the same standards.
                      The Broadbent 5- and 10-yr old are also pretty good.
                      The Rare Wine Co offerings are also excellent value - they seem to be around a 30 yr-old equivalent (but that's not a legal category). But don't spring for the New Orleans Terrantez - it's fairly dry on the palate (but does have a rich finish).
                      Both the Boston Bual and New York Malmsey are excellent products (a number of restos in new York offer them by the glass too). Unfortunately they don't stand up to a good vintage madeira in a side-by-side comparison; but by themselves it's a great tipple.

                      1. Anyone have experience with Broadbent Madeira Reserve 5 Years Old - want to use primarily for cooking and concerned that is may be too sweet. Have used their Rainwater before which is good.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: KevinGW

                          Yes, that one is quite sweet. If you're cooking, stick with the Rainwater.

                        2. Very good Madeira that's made by one of the few family-owned producers is Barbeito. Their Madeiras are great values. The 5 year-old Rainwater and 10 year-old Sercial are my favorites.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: AlexBernardo

                            I have not seen a 5 year old rainwater. Just rainwater.