Newly Released Madeira Wines from Blandy’s

I am grateful to Christopher Blandy for sending me these samples to taste. The 1968 Sercial is a stunning example of just how good this variety can be after spending half-a-century in cask.  

Blandy's Verdelho Colheita 2000 ****

Pale orange-tinged amber, delicate olive-green on the rim; dried apricots on the nose with a candied edge and a light floral lift; delicate dried apricot flavours, textural richness (74.5 g/l residual sugar) offset by steely acidity leading to a fine, linear finish. Long and expressive: a very fine example of a colheita madeira with more than a hint at the real thing (i.e. vintage / frasqueira). 2,500 50cl bottles in total. 17.5 

Blandy’s 1968 Sercial *****

Mid-deep amber in hue with an olive green glint on the rim; fine, lifted slightly smoky, savoury – aperitif nose; dry (but not austere – 59 g/l residual sugar) with rapier-like power and intensity, a streak of acidity leading to a mouthwateringly fresh greengage finish yielding to a touch of savoury complexity. Very pure expression of Sercial with a freshness that belies nearly 50 years in cask. Just over 2000 bottles in total, in a variety of formats. 19.5 

Blandy’s 1957 Bual **** / *****
  

Mid-deep amber – mahogany in colour with a reddish glint; fine, rich, lifted orange marmalade aromas with a hint of treacle toffee, just a touch singed around the edges, rather demure initially this really opened up in the glass after a couple of days; fine and lithe on the palate, crystalised fruits though seemingly not that sweet in style for a Bual (102 g/l residual sugar), perfect texture and poise mid-palate leading to a candied citrus finish together with a touch of honey and butterscotch richness. Ethereal. Just over 1,500 bottles in total. 18.5     

Scoring

19 - 20 An outstanding wine (*****)

17 – 18 An excellent wine in its class, highly recommended (****)

15 - 16 A good wine, with much to recommend it (***)

13 - 14 An enjoyable but simple, straightforward wine (**)

10 – 12 A very ordinary wine without faults but with no great merit (*)

8 - 10 Disagreeable (no stars)

Below 8 Faulty