Madeira Vintage

Posted by: Villager

Madeira Vintage - 03/27/11 04:21 PM

I am new to this site, and forum posting in general so please bear with me. I am also fairly new to the world of wine.

I obtained a bottle of Leacock Sercial Madeira yesturday at a Charity Chinese Auction for $10.00. I am told by the elderly gentleman (86 yrs. old) who donated it that his father bought it when he was a young man, so it is well over 50 years old. The bottle show its age but I can not find anything on the bottle stating the vintage age. Can anyone help?
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Madeira Vintage - 03/27/11 11:48 PM

Dear Villager -

Welcome! Here is my page on Madeira -

http://www.wineintro.com/types/madeira.html

Madeira isn't really a wine. It's a mixed drink. It's wine-plus-brandy. The way they make it is they have big vats and they use previous years' mixture to then add to the current year. So there isn't ever a vintage. It's a mix of all sorts of things. Usually what they'll state on a madeira bottle is its "minimum age" - that it has at least 5 years of aging on it. But because even that first year probably had some older previous-year mixture in it, it's usually older than that.

So they don't put "a year" on a bottle and that would just be the year the mixture happened to be bottled, not the age of the stuff IN the bottle.

Your only hope might be that they occasionally changed the label and to write the winery and asked what years the label you have were used during. If you really care smile I would soy to drink it with friends and enjoy! Either it's good or it's way past its prime. Either way it'll be an adventure - let us know what you think!
Posted by: Brom

Re: Madeira Vintage - 03/29/11 11:48 AM

"Madeira isn't really a wine."? No?

Then I guess you do not accept Port, Sherry or Marsala as wines either. Nor Champagne I suppose, except for those 'new-fangled' versions without added "dosage".

I disagree. Madeira, like the others listed in my first sentence is a fortified wine, but nevertheless, a wine.

Like with Sherry, I favor the sweeter styles, in this case Bual and Malmsey.
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Madeira Vintage - 03/31/11 09:19 PM

Dear Brom -

I was trying to simplify but yes that was my point that they're not straight wines. I drink a *lot* of port and I would not call that a wine either. I'd call it a fortified wine or just simply a fortified. It's wine plus high alcohol additive.