Madeira @ Patroon

NYC

Tasted October 6, 1999 by mdefreitas with 412 views

Introduction

I attended a Madeira tasting in NYC put together by the Rare Wine Company. It was held at a Restaurant called Patroon (the food was excellent… especially the walnut/truffle soup). The atmosphere was a little “stuffy” at first, with a lot of people who seemed a little too “prim and proper”… well, OK, I’ll say it… a lot of snobs. I can’t tell you how many times I heard “I was at a Tasting with Robert Parker and…”. But as the night wore on, people loosened up a bit (the power of wine?).

Unfortunately, I was recovering from a bit of a cold, so my senses were certainly not at their peak, but even with a stuffed up nose, I could smell the intoxicating aromas of these wines as they were being opened from the other room. I was starting to salivate.

Overall, the quality level of these wines were quite high and any criticism I make is probably just nit-picking. On to the wines.

Flight 1 - MADEIRAS (13 notes)

White - Fortified
1937 D'Oliveiras Madeira Sercial Reserva Portugal, Madeira
93 points
Light brown/tan in color. Somewhat fruity for a Madeira, with orange and lime flavors. Tangy molasses-like finish… an incredibly long finish. Super, super, zingy acidity. Perhaps too much for some, but I loved it. Excellent.
White - Fortified
1862 D'Oliveiras Madeira Sercial Reserva Portugal, Madeira
86 points
Light tawny brown, but with a hint of green on the rim. The added age on this wine gave it a more complex flavor profile, with walnuts and truffles added to the mix. Slightly less acidity than the previous wine. Intense on the palate, but the finish was a bit awkward. A bit too smokey, oaky and astringent. Despite the fact that Madeira can spend decades (even centuries) in oak, I normally don’t get any woody flavors (it manifests itself more as caramel, coffee, and molasses). But this wine was a bit of an exception. Good.
White - Fortified
1929 Barbeito Madeira Verdelho Portugal, Madeira
89 points
Dark caramel brown, with an orange rim. A bit of a muted nose at first, but it eventually came around. A delicate, caramel and coffee flavored wine, with a chewy, tangy finish. Very Good.
White - Fortified
1905 D'Oliveiras Madeira Verdelho Reserva Portugal, Madeira
94 points
Dark coffee-colored wine. Almost opaque. Seemed a bit closed at first, but it really opened up to show some great “darker” flavors, such as coffee, mocha, chocolate, and truffles. A single sip sent intense aromas wafting up into my nostrils. Totally intense experience. I kept a bit of this wine for later in the evening, and it just kept getting better. Outstanding.
White - Fortified
1922 D'Oliveiras Madeira Boal Reserva Portugal, Madeira
95 points
Another dark, almost opaque wine, with a slight orange rim. Delicate nose of caramel candy and crème brulee. Lip pursing acidity that forces you to make a funny face as you taste it. Intense and flavorful. Sweet, but tons of acidity to back it up. Outstanding.
White - Fortified
1863 Barbeito Madeira Boal Portugal, Madeira
89 points
Dark caramel color, but not quite opaque. A complex wine, with much more “evolved” earth aromas. Truffles, earth, minerals, coffee, molasses, and other “things” I couldn’t quite name. The downside is the lack of acidity, which made it slightly cloying (or maybe I was spoiled by the acidity in the previous wines). Very Good.
White - Fortified
1827 Quinta do Serrado Madeira Boal Portugal, Madeira
93 points
Rare Wine Company Madeira Dinner @ Patroon. Very light brown. A delicate wine, with nutmeg and other autumn spices in the nose. Chocolate and caramel hints. A wine of lovely balance, and a whiplash finish that goes away and then comes back in waves. A wonderful wine that lacks only intensity, but that’s not so bad when it has this kind of balance. Excellent.
Red - Fortified
1957 D'Oliveiras Madeira Tinta Negra Mole Old Wine Portugal, Madeira
86 points
Rare Wine Company's Madeira dinner at Patroon. Not made from the “noble” varieties. It is made from a red grape called Tinta Negra Mole, which can be made in the various styles of the other noble grape varieties. This wine was light brown in color. Not as complex or explosive as the other wines, but a very good, sweet, luscious, caramel flavored wine. Good.
White - Fortified
1920 Favilla Vieira Madeira Malvazia Portugal, Madeira
91 points
A medium honey-brown color, with no lightening on the rim. Sweet molasses and chocolate, with a slighly “brown spice” finish. The first Malvasia tasted at this tasting, and you can feel the step up in sweetness. Totally coats the mouth, and gets to those “hard to reach places” on the palate. Excellent.
White - Fortified
1875 Barbeito Madeira Malvazia Portugal, Madeira
94 points
(Rare Wine Company Madeira Tasting @ Patroon, NYC) Medium honey brown color. Orange zest and coffee on the nose. Sweet and luscious, but good “citrus squirt” acidity to keep it from being cloying. Delicate for a Malvasia, with a beautiful finish. Excellent
White - Fortified
1834 Barbeito Madeira Malvazia Portugal, Madeira
98 points
(Rare Wine Company Madeira Tasting @ Patroon, NYC) Very dark chocolate color. One of the wines of the night for me. Thick, sweet, and explosive on the palate. Super long and super rich on the palate. A whirlwind of flavors that are hard to describe. A wine to drink in small sips… and I did, for I wanted it to last forever. How does one make something so rich and decadent? Profound.
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White - Fortified
1802 Oscar Acciaioly Madeira Terrantez Special Reserve Portugal, Madeira
99 points
Dark, opaque coffee color. Biggest nose of the tasting. Another super-rich wine. They seem to be putting all the big guns at the end of the tasting. Almost too intense to smell. Truckloads of rich “brown” flavors… nutmeg, chocolate, coffee, caramel, truffles, sherry, etc. A wine so unctuous, that it’s almost hard to swallow it all. After several minutes, I could slurp my tongue between my gums and lips… and I could still taste the wine. A totally shocking wine experience. A WOW wine if there ever was one.
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White - Fortified
1900 D'Oliveiras Madeira Moscatel Reserva Portugal, Madeira
95 points
Yet another big, intense wine, with a killer nose that goes straight to the pleasure zone of the brain. A bit sweeter than the previous wine, but as usual, the acidity is there in spades to balance things out. An unctuous, rich, wine with a seemingly endless and ethereal finish. I’m running out of descriptors… this is damn good stuff. Outstanding.

Flight 2 - DINNER WINE (1 note)

Red
1991 Casa Ferreirinha Douro Barca Velha Portugal, Douro
93 points
Deep red to the rim, no signs of age. Strong cherry and a hint of herbs. A bit of tannins that still need to be resolved, but with substantial air, the fruit moved up front and sweetened up. Almost Burgundy like in how it makes a strong impression without being a concentrated monster. Sort of a short finish, though. A very nice wine, that is a bit over-priced.