White, Ready, but will keep

1969 Bual, Blandy

1969 Bual, Blandy

White | Ready, but will keep | Madeira Wine Company | Code:  48155 | 1969 | Madeira > Bual and Terrantez | Bual | Full Bodied, Brut | 21.0 % alcohol

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Scores and Reviews

WA

94/100

WA - The 1969 Bual (bottled November 2012) has a lucid amber/mahogany color with a green tinge on the rim. The nose is mellow at first, but rapidly gains momentum with scents of molasses, smoke, hazelnut and an antique bureau. It is well-defined, a little more oxidative than I expected, but that is no bad thing. The palate is lively and fresh on the entry with a killer line of acidity that lends this Bual more than enough tension and nervosite. Marmalade, quince, touches of tobacco and even a touch of chili oil inform this vivacious Bual, and it is only after three to four hours aeration that it begins to settle. Indeed, like all great Madeira wines, the 1969 tastes more harmonious and focused the following day, confirming Noel Cossarts observation all those years ago. This is a real treat.
Neal Martin - 30/04/2014

The Producer

Madeira Wine Company

Madeira Wine Company

The Madeira Wine Company (MWC)  is owned and managed by the Blandy family of Madeira, an institution which in 2011 celebrated its bicentenary.

Within the MWC brands, Blandy’s, Rutherford & Miles, Cossart & Gordon and Leacock`s have all been synonymous with quality Madeira wine.

The Blandys are unique in being the only family of all the original founders of the Madeira wine trade to still own and manage their own wine company and the family has played a leading role in the development of Madeira wine throughout its long history.

In 2000 the MWC led the way with the introduction of a high quality but affordable Madeira of a single year (known as "Colheita" in Portuguese); "Blandy's Malmsey 1994 Harvest". This was the first dated Madeira ever launched other than the very expensive and rare Vintage Madeiras. Since then many other Madeira producers have again followed the MWC lead by introducing younger dated wines, thus creating an important new category of premium Madeira.

In July 2002, Blandy’s MWC again launched a completely new style of Madeira with a radical presentation, "Blandy's Alvada". The wine is different to anything that has been produced before as it combines 2 noble grape varieties, Malmsey and Bual to arrive at a superbly balanced wine that combines the rich flavours of the Malmsey with the more complex and drier structure of the Bual.

The company is again leading the way in the re-establishment of Madeira as one of the world's great wines.

The Grape

Bual

Bual

A noble grape variety grown in Madeira and producing a style of Madeira richer than Sercial and Verdelho but not as sweet as Malmsey

It has many subvarieties, although Bual Cachudo is the highest quality one, and is the most commonly planted. It is a good yielding grape and performs best on the lower slopes on the south side of the island around Camara de Lobos and Funchal.

The Region

Bual and Terrantez

Bual (aka Boal in Portuguese) is a white grape variety and a corresponding style of Madeira, one of the four recognised styles of this fortified wine (the others being the dry Sercial, the medium-dry Verdelho, and sweet Malmsey (or Malvasia).

Bual is an intensively perfumed and medium sweet style of Madeira, thanks to its good acidity that balances the sweetness.

The high acidity in the Bual grape combined with maderization, a process in which the wine is fortified and then slowly cooked in barrel over a period of many years, allows the wine to achieve admirable longevity.

The nose is perfumed, evocative of barley sugar while the palate delivers caramel, molasses and coffee notes rounded out by dried fruits & orange peel flavours.

Terrantez is white grape variety in Madeira, that nowadays is practically extinct, although it might be occasionally  found in some very old bottlings. Efforts to revive the plantings of Terrantez are hampered by the very low yields of the grape.

Terrantez Madeira vintages come in two principal styles: The rich and sweet wines, as exemplified by bottling of  the Madeira Wine Company. The other style is rather dry, although quite concentrated in flavours. Old vintage examples of Terrantez like the Blandy 1846 demonstrate the high potential of the grape (impressive ability to gain in complexity after long ageing).

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