Sercial is a Portuguese white grape variety, commonly associated with the eponymous style of the Madeira fortified wine. Sercial gives the driest style of Madeira, containing up to up to 1.5% residual sugar; Verdehlo (a medium-dry style) has up to 2.5 % residual sugar and Bual 3.5% and Malmsey/Malvasia has more than 4% residual sugar.
Sercial is the last of the white grapes to ripen in Madeira, often as late as the mid of October, and is characterised by a high level of acidity. A minimum of twenty years ageing in cask is required for vintage Sercial Madeiras, to ensure that its razor-sharp acidity has softened. Once mature, it makes a perfect apéritif but it can also hold its own very well.
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