1950 Fajã dos Padres Vineyard Terrantez - It is not often that we get to see a single vineyard Vintage Madeira these days. This bottling is from one of the greatest, yet least known vineyard sites anywhere in the world. Fajã dos Padres may not have produced any Madeira, no less Terrantez, since this wine was produced. Rare Wine Co. (http://www.rarewineco.com
) offered this wine and only had 2 or 3 cases for the entire USA. There were another couple of cases being offered by the finest Madeira merchant in Europe, but these babies are rare and now all gone.
I received mine at the end of last week and could not resist. Within five minutes of my doorbell ringing with the delivery, I was in my cellar opening the bottle and taking a sip. I have had a few ounces in various types of glassware, every day since the bottle arrived a week ago. It was important for me to see how this bottle evolved and take careful note of my own perceptions along the way. I was also fortunate enough to be able to share some with 7 friends who were here for a wine tasting early in the week. They seemed quite pleased.
Normally Vintage Madeiras have a way of disappearing within 12-48 hours of opening the bottle, in our home. I wish I had more self-control with Madeira like some friends who are able to somehow keep bottles open for many months. This was the longest I have kept ANY bottle of wine open and unfinished, in my life.
Now onto the tasting note:
The color is a beautiful orange-amber like a glowing fireplace, fading to yellow on the meniscus. This Madeira offered terrific and heady aromas reminiscent of citrus peel, herbs and a roasted note along with Toschi Nocello (which is a wild walnut liqueur), It is hard to describe the ever changing stylish nature of the aromatics of this wine, simply amazing. Lighter in VA than other Terrantez I have had, the incredible freshness of this wine was not lost on this enthusiast. Its rich yet delicate approach was not linear, as one moment this Terrantez tantalized the tongue while with the very next sip I found myself just rolling this around in my mouth to enjoy the voluptuous texture. True to its roots, it introduces a slight hint of bitter-sweetness almost akin to Verdelho, but with a touch more RS. The initially restrained palate provided a laser-beam of intensely focused, yet soft acidity, which carried caramelized flavors along with dry notes of roasted chestnuts and walnuts. This is an extraordinarily elegant wine and a structural masterpiece that would've made Frank Lloyd Wright proud, while delivering an insanely long and drying finish that provides the insight into its delicate subtleties. 97 points