These wines proved much more of a success than the 20-yo Terrantez I described in January 2019.
Madeira (a Spanish island) is essentially a lost cause in Australia; there is little readily available; tastings are rare, and presumably its only imported to cater for the (well-heeled) minority that love the style. I have been to precisely one tasting – it didn’t take long to realise that 5 and 10 year old examples didn’t provide excitement or distinction. Don’t bother!
Like many other regions producing fortified wines, there is a cachet (and price premium) for vintage (colheita) examples. Madeira is renowned for its acidity; they will last for decades and provide pleasure over weeks even when opened. The better examples are matured in old large oak, with its inherent slow oxidation and evaporative losses delivering further complexity as the wine mature.
Bibendum and TSA (the Spanish Acquisition – love that name!) import; but good luck finding retail distribution; bits of Blandy’s, and Barbeito also seem available in Australia with a decent Google search.
Here is another website which includes a wealth of information about Henriques and Henriques wines.
Henriques and Henriques 15 yo Verdelho Madeira 20%
Amber colour; it exudes a mix of dried pear, roast coffee bean and fruitcake spices, with a pleasing touch of floor polish. Its relatively dry (72 g/l rs) for the style, and presents somewhat as a cross between a tawny style and an amontillado sherry; hazelnut, date and caramels make a winning presence. It’s not straightforward to suggest food matches, but a charcuterie platter or a French onion soup will work.
Drink now, and 91 points
Henriques and Henriques 15 yo Malvasia Madeira 20%
Teak and mahogany colour; iodine, fig, orange peel. The palate (110 g/l rs) is entirely balanced; bitter dark chocolates, salted pecan and peanuts; this chewy wine has enormous presence and style. The acidity cuts a swathe through the richness. Very smart! Match with a stiff coffee or an aged cheese- perhaps a cheddar or Comte?
Drink now, and 93 points for this wine of intrigue.