Three Outstanding New Madeiras from Blandy’s

Blandy 1980 Sercial   **** 

Based on Sercial grown on the north west corner of the island at Seixal and Porto Moniz where I am told that this grape produces the most gentle fruit: lovely clean, lifted aromas, green fruit, apple peel with a touch of citrus; lovely fresh appley flavours with a hint of toffee and milk-chocolate, perhaps just a touch of salinity, steely acidity running all the way through, fresh and lithe on the finish, dry but not austerely so with 55g/l of residual sugar.  Just 800 bottles in total. 18

Blandy 1981 Malmsey ****/*****

Deep amber-red in colour; lifted, toasted and singed on the nose, really rather wonderful, this sings from the glass; gentle honeyed sweetness, super-concentrated mid-palate, so pure yet complex too with a toasty-savoury back drop, rich (100g/l residual sugar) but the acidity running through leads to a vibrant finish. Nothing soupy about this: wonderful precision and definition.  18.5 

Blandy’s MCDXIX, The Winemaker's Selection.

Awine blended to commemorate the discovery of Madeira by João Gonçalves Zarco in 1419. This wine includes all the principal classic white grape varieties and wines ranging in age from 1863 to 2004. There are eleven wines in the blend in total, including three from the rare Terrantez grape. At 21.7%abv it is just below the max. legal limit of 22%abv. Deep amber in hue; wonderfully taut on the nose with cinnamon spice; combines the concentration of age with the freshness of youth, multi-layered, proof that a wine can be greater than the sum of its parts, medium rich in style (100g/l) yet beautifully lithe and linear, bright steely acidity and a touch of salinity gives this wine wonderful poise. Lovely clean bitter – sweet olive finish. A wine for serious meditation. Only 600 magnums to be released in 5thSeptember 2019.    19.5  

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