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Jun 14, 2007 08:27 AM

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:

        "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.


            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.