This is perhaps one of the richest and darkest verdelhos that I remember ever tasting. There's definitely a bit of the grassy herbaceousness I associate with verdelho on the nose (or is that just confirmation bias?). The amazing thing here is the balancing act between the light citrus tones and the inky darkness of the house style. I have no idea what a spice box is, but this is what I'd imagine one would smell like. This is basically the complete package: deep wood tones, burnt sugar, fresh citrus and grass, spice, and nuts, all harmoniously and polyamourously married together.
Decanted for thirteen (13) days and drank over the course of three (3) weeks. Deep amber in color w/orange rim exhibiting intense aromas of orange marmalade, raisin, fig, burnt caramel, molasses, roasted almond and sweet baking spice. Dry, with razor sharp acidity; a tapestry of dried fruit flavors are beautifully interwoven with hints of rich cocoa powder/chocolate. Opulent, velvet textured and focused with enduring salty/sweet finish. Only negative was a slight perception of heat on entry that dissipated quickly and did very little to diminish the overall experience.
Great nose of roasted nuts, chestnuts really, burnished blood orange and macerated tomatoes. A surprisingly balanced palate, with moderate sweetness, extracted lemon oil, petrol, tobacco and orange curd. Not a huge fan of the nose, but a surprisingly elegant palate with dynamic flavor and great balance....excellent!
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(D'Oliveiras Madeira Verdelho Reserva) Medium dark orange borwn color with golden lights and yellow to clear meniscus; lovely, baked lemon, light roasted coffee, walnut oil nose; poised, still quite youthful, tart lemon peel, baked lemon, light coffee, tangy, roast coffee, walnut palate with medium-plus acidity; very long finish 94+ pts.
(D'Oliveiras Madeira Verdelho Reserva) Medium brown color with medium golden meniscus, slightly cloudy and opaque; French roast, VA nose with a slightly meaty Marmite component, that changes more to peanut butter after 45 minutes in the glass; tangy, roasted coffee, caramel, tangy orange and lemon palate with balance and focus; long penetrating finish 94+ pts.