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|Community Tasting History|
Community Tasting Notes (average 16 notes) - and median of 92 pts. in hiding notes with no text
| ||Tasted by jibby on 1/31/2014 & rated 94 points: Strong fig, wood. Sweet and sour flavor. Finishes off-dry. Complex and drinkable. (1430 views)|
| ||Tasted by msimoes on 11/13/2013 & rated 93 points: Just popped, first glass left out for about 45 mins. |
Really enjoyed it. Strong tropical aromas, passion-fruit?
Not overly acidic, great balance. Full in the mouth. Burnt caramel, delicious.
Finish not particularly long or complex but still enjoyable. (1605 views)
| ||Tasted by SAND on 8/20/2013: Besøk hos Pereira d'Oliveira (Funchal, Madeira): Duft: Litt "enklere" frukt og nese enn de forrige, men fin frukt. Fruktkake, sultana rosiner.|
Smak: Søtlig, behagelig, rund, flott balanse. En flott, "ung" madeira! (1718 views)
| ||Tasted by acyso on 4/29/2013 & rated 90 points: Freshly baked fruitcake on the nose. On the palate, quite sweet with notes of fruit peel, brandied Christmas cake, and brown spice. Not immensely long nor concentrated, but much lighter in body. Quite balanced. (2198 views)|
| ||Tasted by Anonymous on 11/30/2012 & rated 92 points: I forget how good this is. A bit on the sweet side, but so wonderfully balanaced with focused, lip-pursing acidity. Caramel, toffee, coffee, bittersweet dark chocolate and citrus skin. Nice lingering finish. Great depth for such a relatively young Madeira. (2785 views)|
| ||Tasted by rosesandthorns on 8/10/2012 & rated 92 points: For such a young pup, this Madeira has an old soul. It is a very self-possessed wine with a harmony of evolved flavors. Beautiful caramel molasses, sumatra coffee, toasted walnuts, some juicy citrus, fresh figs and dates line up on the palate. The finish is really long and has persistent acidity to complete the dimensional flavor profile. It's getting better. Still tastes more like a bual to me than a Malvazia. (1686 views)|
| ||Tasted by BillB656 on 7/3/2012: Very very good. Sweet on the lips but with plenty of zippiness and vibrancy. Lots of dried apricot, assorted nuts, orange zest. I'd get this again in a hearbeat. (1706 views)|
| ||Tasted by Anonymous on 6/30/2012 & rated 92 points: Another fine showing. A youngish wine that exhibits quite a bit of "aged" depth. Leaning towards the sweet side, but with stinging, piercing, tangy acidity. A buttery caramel note, with dried and fresh citrus fruits. Lovely, lip-smacking finish. (2164 views)|
| ||Tasted by Richard Jennings on 6/12/2012 & rated 93 points: Madeira Trade Tasting San Francisco (Hotel Monaco, San Francisco, California): Dark orange color with ruby lights and pale yellow meniscus; focused, roasted coffee, nutmeats, toasted almond, light walnut nose; tasty, rich, roasted walnut, roasted coffee, tart dates palate; very long finish (a remarkably complete, complex and delicious vintage Madeira at this relatively youthful stage) (2195 views)|
| ||Tasted by Anonymous on 3/15/2012 & rated 92 points: Popped and poured. Another excellent bottle. This leans towards the sweet side, but the balancing acidity is top-notch. Nice palate weight and length. Layered, rich and utterly delicious. (1429 views)|
| ||Tasted by Richard Jennings on 10/11/2011 & rated 93 points: From Madeira to USA: Madeira's Five Major Producer/Exporters Present a Trade Tasting (Hotel Monaco, San Francisco, California): Medium red orange color with ruby lights and 1 millimeter clear meniscus; tart date, date cake, roasted coffee, almond, light caramel, salt nose; rich, glorious, soaring, tart date, light coffee, lemon, honeyed, dried apricot palate with wonderful acidity; long finish (a remarkably complete, complex and delicious vintage Madeira at this relatively youthful stage) (2702 views)|
| ||Tasted by Anonymous on 9/15/2011 & rated 92 points: Popped and poured. I continue to marvel at how good this is; perhaps the best "under $100" Malvazia currently on the market. Obvious sweetness but the acids are so bright and sharp - you can practically sense the acidity on the nose, as it almost makes you purse your lips while breathing in the intoxicating scents. A complete wine that has impact upon entry, coats the palate in the middle and finishes clean and refreshing after swallowing. Lingering flavors of caramel, citrus skin and fruitcake reverberate on the palate. I hope they have more of this aging in cask at D'Oliveira, as it would be a real treat to taste a later release with even more age on it. An impressive "young" wine. (1585 views)|
| ||Tasted by rosesandthorns on 5/23/2011 & rated 91 points: This tastes so much like a bual to me, in particular the 1968 Bual. A beauty with gorgeous espresso caramel nose with a micro whiff of herbaceousness quickly followed with honey, candied apricots in divinity, and toasted almonds and some brown sugar. The mouthfeel was unctuousness but not insipid, as the bracing acidity held the line to the long finish balancing out the residual sweetness and richness of the wine. This Malvazia is not typical to me in level of sweetness. It really is more bual like except in the back palate finish where I taste the Malvasia come through. Otherwise, mid-palate I'm struck that this malvazia is dancing on my tongue like a bual in balance and integrity of flavor profile. If you put this down for a long time, this will evolve into a blockbuster vintage. Holy cow, this tastes good. Will power to keep from drinking this too young. I'm powerless when it comes to Madeira, who am I fooling? (1466 views)|
| ||Tasted by dbp on 5/19/2011 & rated 93 points: Premier & Grand Cru Chablis (Willamette Wine Storage): I wasn't intending on paying as much attention to this Madeira as it demanded I do. What a beauty! The nose was a bit odd to me: it smelled like my snake had just shed and was slithering through 2 month old pine shavings. Odd. The palate is what knocked me silly and required the attention. The richness here is luscious. Fantastic balance as well, complete with acid. The texture is incredible, and this is definitely more about the palate experience for me than individual flavors (like the toasted almonds). Again, it's the acid streak that keeps this so in balance, and despite the obvious sweetness, it doesn't TASTE sweet. The finish is really spicy, with beautiful depth. It tastes exactly like the outside of a fire charred marshmallow eaten with burnt almonds. Absolutely supple texturally. This wine changes my view on Madeira, and I'll now seek out more. Thanks again Vivian! (1843 views)|
| ||Tasted by Anonymous on 2/24/2011 & rated 92 points: Popped and poured. Very impressive for such a youngster. As soon as I pulled the cork I could smell that lovely rancio bouquet. This shows some sweetness , but the acids are strong and tangy that it finishes quite dry... much like a fine Mosel spatlese Riesling would do. Caramel, lime skin and brown spices. Good weight, balance and length. Can't wait to follow this over the next few days. (1579 views)|
NOTE: Scores and reviews are the property of For The Love of Port and RJonWine.com. (manage subscription channels)
|By Roy Hersh|
For The Love of Port, Issue #61 (5/9/2011)
(D’Oliveiras Malvasia Madeira) Subscribe to see review text.
|By Richard Jennings|
(D'Oliveiras Madeira Malvazia Reserva) Dark orange color with ruby lights and pale yellow meniscus; focused, roasted coffee, nutmeats, toasted almond, light walnut nose; tasty, rich, roasted walnut, roasted coffee, tart dates palate; very long finish (a remarkably complete, complex and delicious vintage Madeira at this relatively youthful stage) 93 points
|By Richard Jennings|
(D'Oliveiras Madeira Malvazia Reserva) Medium red orange color with ruby lights and 1 millimeter clear meniscus; tart date, date cake, roasted coffee, almond, light caramel, salt nose; rich, glorious, soaring, tart date, light coffee, lemon, honeyed, dried apricot palate with wonderful acidity; long finish (a remarkably complete, complex and delicious vintage Madeira at this relatively youthful stage) 93 points
D'Oliveiras Producer website
D'Oliveiras wines are among the most cherished on the island as they simply have vast stocks of tasty old wines and great innovation. The Rare Wine Co Historic Series (of classic American Madeiras) was accurately well done by D'Oliveiras and the recent Verdelho/Bual blend portends tremendous flavor excitement as these two classics combine into something symphonic.
The 68 and 08 are most rewarding wines. Ricardo must have a near perfect career!
ReservaBalanced wines with good structure. Nice Additional complexity from oak barrel aging in red wines.
Portugal ViniPortugal (Associação Interprofissional para a Promoção dos Vinhos Portugueses/Portuguese Wine Trade Association)
MadeiraThe Madeira Wine Guide and For The Love of Port are two essential sites on the wines of Madeira.
Madeiranote: out of courtesy we should give Manny (Emmanuel) Berk credit for the information below.
“J.P. Morgan’s Favored Madeira Wines Make Comeback” Bloomberg’s Elin McCoy discusses her experience tasting vintage Madeiras with Mannie Berk.
When served in 1950, the wine was 158 years old, but in fine condition, still boasting Madeira’s trademark rich, sweet, velvety taste and roomfilling aromas of butterscotch, cocoa and coffee. Sir Winston insisted on serving the guests himself, asking each in turn, “Do you realize that when this wine was vintaged Marie Antoinette was alive?”
Madeira’s longevity earns it a special place in the realm of old wine. What other wine requires over a half century to mature? And what other wine, when a century old, still benefits from several hours of breathing and can stand up to weeks in a decanter, without losing its complexity or its richness? And how many wines can live for two centuries and still offer not only the pleasure of their antiquity, but also the enjoyment of drinking?
Madeira’s Mountain Vineyards. Madeira is produced on a breathtakingly beautiful volcanic island of the same name which surges from the sea at a point 360 miles west of Morocco and 700 miles south of Portugal, which governs it. The history of Madeira’s wine is nearly as old as that of the island. The island was first settled by Europeans—led by the Portuguese explorer Zarco—in 1419. By 1455 a visitor from Venice wrote that Madeira’s vineyards were the world's most beautiful. Within a century, the wine from these vineyards was well established in markets throughout Europe and by the 1600’s it had become the most popular wine in Britain’s North American colonies.
America’s First Wine. The popularity of Madeira in the American colonies got a huge boost in 1665 when the British authorities banned the importation of products made or grown in Europe, unless shipped on British vessels from British ports. Products from Madeira were specifically exempted. British merchants in Madeira took full advantage of this by establishing close ties with merchants in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Charleston and Savannah. A steady trade developed in which wine from Madeira was traded for such American products as indigo, corn and cotton. This trade continued unabated until the early 1800’s, except when politics and war interfered in the 1770’s.
For two centuries, Madeira was the wine of choice for most affluent Americans. Francis Scott Keyes is said to have penned the Star Spangled Banner, sipping from a glass of Madeira. George Washington's inauguration was toasted with Madeira, as was the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Wealthy families from Boston to Savannah established extensive collections of Madeiras. Madeira became high fashion, and“Madeira parties” (a forerunner of today’s wine tasting) became major social events.
How Madeira is Made. Madeira is produced from grapes grown on terraces cut into the island's steep mountainsides. Like Port, Madeira is a “fortified” wine to which brandy has been added. But unlike other fortified wines, Madeira is also heated for several months, either in special vats or in the attic lofts of the Madeira lodges.
This heating (called “estufagem”) had its origins in the days when merchant ships called at Madeira on their way to the East and West Indies. Beginning in the late 1600's, wines from Madeira's vineyards were frequent cargo on ships sailing to the Americas, as well as to mainland Portugal, England and India. According to legend, the value of a trip to the tropics was learned when an orphan cask, forgotten in a ship's hold, returned to Madeira from a trip across the Equator. The wine was found to be rich and velvety, far better than when it left, and a tropical cruise became part of the Madeira winemaking tradition.
Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, producers continued to send casks of their wines on long voyages, for no other reason than to develop greater character. The ocean traveling wines were called vina da roda (“wines of the round voyage”) and those that crossed the Equator twice were considered the best. Some Madeiras were named for the vessels with which they sailed (Constitution, Balthazar, Red jacket, Hurricane, Comet) or the places they had been (East Indies, West Indies, Japan, Argentina). Although this practice ended in the first decade of the 20th century, heating is still a critical step in the making of all Madeiras.
A Century of Change. While the majority of Madeiras are blends of vintages and grape varieties, it is the vintage wines, and the now-vanishing soleras that are Madeira’s claim to greatness. Vintage and solera Madeiras are not simply a selection of the best wines from the best years, they are made from particular “noble” grape varieties after which the wines are named. These names—Malmsey, Bual, Verdelho, Sercial—not only describe a grape variety; they also describe a style, with Malmsey being the sweetest and richest (and therefore the most like Vintage Port) and Sercial being the lightest and the driest.
There are other grape varieties whose names you may stumble across on old bottles of Madeira. Terrantez and Bastardo, in particular, are grapes that were widely grown up to the late 1800's and whose old wines can still be found on occasion. The virtual extinction of Terrantez and Bastardo grapevines in the late 1800's coincided with the decline of the Madeira wine trade and resulted from the same causes: two diseases of the vine, Oidium and Phylloxera, both of which also struck the vineyards of Europe, but in Madeira caused much greater, and more lasting, destruction.
The Oidium crisis began in 1852 and lasted about a decade; during this time some 90 percent of the island's vines were destroyed by powdery mildew, and the number of firms producing wine decreased by over 75 percent. There was a brief period of replanting and rebuilding in the 1860's, but then Phylloxera struck in 1872, reducing the island's vine acreage to about 1,000 by the early 1880’s.
The Phylloxera crisis, too, passed, and by the turn of the century production had been restored throughout the island, albeit at somewhat lower levels. But the costs had been heavy. Madeira had largely lost its traditional markets—America, England and the British East Indian colonies. Relatively less of the classic grape varieties were now grown, as they gave way to more prolific, but less distinguished, varieties. And, of course, stocks of older wines had been largely depleted, after a half century during which little young wine was being produced.
Today, the world's supply of fine Madeira is negligible. However, those few examples that have survived from the 19th and early 20th centuries are among the world's most majestic wines, which no wine lover should fail to experience.
Over the past twenty years, our passion for these noble wines has grown with each passing month. We believe that they are among the greatest, most individual wines this planet has ever produced. They possess a richness and grandeur shared by only a few wines.
And their ability to age makes them absolutely unique. Most wines are dead and gone at age 100; and at best they are barely drinkable. But after a century, a Madeira can be just reaching its prime, possessing the depth of great age, but also the vigor of youth.
The gradual depletion of the world’s stocks of these irreplaceable wines has only encouraged us to try harder to find the wines that remain.
A Note on Prices and Quality. As they have grown in rarity, and the sources of supply diminish, the price of Madeira on the world market has skyrocketed. Though many of the older wines arguably are worth whatever you may be asked to pay, the rising tide—combined with Madeira’s mystique—has also raised the prices of mediocrities to the levels of the greats.
We are proud of the role we have played in sorting through which are the truly classic Madeiras, and in preserving their availability and keeping them affordable."