We had been planning something like this for awhile. My mates and I wanted to drink old Madeira, and our suppliers were letting us down. We reserved bottles and they were sold to others. We ordered online and were told they were out of stock. We were beginning to suspect some sort of conspiracy. There must have been some plot to prevent us from buying old Madeira. It wouldn't surprise me. True Madeira fans are maniacal in their passion.
I did some research and we secured this bottle from a merchant who, and I am not making this up, questioned our love of Madeira before letting us buy it. I fucking love the wine trade.
Dark moscavado sugar with balsamic vinegar, coffee grounds, pata negra. Very savoury. It starts off with an edge of varnish that gradually dissipates.
Gripping, tight, viscous espresso/ristretto. Intense, savoury with salted caramel sweetness following only at the very end of the palate, though as the finish lingers it very much goes back to coffee. It's quite a simple note, really, but it's not a simple wine. All the flavours work like a fractal, as they follow a similar pattern/flavour profile that echoes on grander and lesser levels as they go on. Every sip it hits you differently. You clasp your lips close and press your tongue to your mouth as though you're sucking on a boiled sweet, trying to squeeze more and more out of it, even though as your mouth waters, your eyes tear up a bit. It lasts for five or ten minutes, but it's sad that I know that, because it means that I finished my glass.
Tasted at Naughton, 29 April 2012