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Madeira Miniature Tasting 3/2007

This was a small but crazy event. I had collected some 20+ Madeira wine miniature bottles over the years. To make some room in my cellar I decided to taste the 11 most promising of them. Most of these wines are no longer commercially available.

I knew before that the quality of the wines was not going to be the best, since the miniature bottles only contained cheap blended Madeira wine. But I was curious and instead of just throwing them away I opened the bottles at the 4th of March, drinking in my sunday dress.

In general three conclusions could be made from this "little" tasting:
- The durability of Madeira wine, even under these bad conditions with the small bottle volume, is quite good.
- The quality of the cheaper Madeira blends has improved considerably in the last 30 years.
- Some of these blends displayed two distinctive features of low quality Madeira wines, a very high volatile acidity and a typical vegetable soup flavor.

The line-up of the miniature Madeira bottles..

The line-up of the miniature Madeira bottles.

Delaforce Good Rich
Bottle:
Miniature bottle, small stopper cork.
Color:
Iodine with tawny rim, some sediment.
Nose:
Subdued roasted aromas, caramel.
Palate:
Medium sweetness with good backing acidity, some toffee and caramel notes.
Footnote:
Tasted 3/2007 two days after the 11 other miniature bottles, but I included it because it fits in nicely.

Dona Mecia Sweet, Barbeito
Bottle:
Miniature bottle with JNV paper seal, small moist cork, foil cap.
Color:
Mahogany, greenish rim.
Nose:
Lots of VA, burnt coffee.
Palate:
Sweet, some acidity, spirity, smoky finish.
Footnote:
Tasted 3/2007.

Espinheiro Madeira
Bottle:
Miniature bottle with screwcap.
Color:
Mahogany, iodine rim, some sediment.
Nose:
No VA, subdued, some toffee.
Palate:
Off dry, toffee, toasted bread, short finish.
Footnote:
Tasted 3/2007.

Flagman's Rich Old
Bottle:
Miniature bottle with screwcap.
Color:
Bright iodine, greenish rim.
Nose:
No VA, vegetable soup flavor, mushrooms.
Palate:
Medium sweetness, low acidity, toffee, caramel, short and bitter finish.
Footnote:
Tasted 3/2007.

Izidro L Doce, CVM
Bottle:
Miniature bottle with IVM paper seal, small stopper cork.
Color:
Iodine, tawny rim, lots of sediment.
Nose:
Some VA, subdued, caramel.
Palate:
Sweetness, some acidity, quite raw, some toffee, short and sweet finish.
Footnote:
Tasted 3/2007.

Izidro M Meio Doce, CVM
Bottle:
Miniature bottle with IVM papaer seal, small stopper cork with foil cap.
Color:
Medium iodine with tawny rim, some sediment.
Nose:
Some VA, and... nothing.
Palate:
Medium sweet, spirity, sharp acidity, toffee, medium long sweet finish.
Footnote:
Tasted 3/2007.

Izidro S Seco, CVM
Bottle:
Miniature bottle with IVM paper seal, small stopper cork.
Color:
Iodine, tawny rim, lots of sediment.
Nose:
Lots of VA, onions, unpleasant cooked vegetable smell.
Palate:
Faded, dried out, some acidity, decayed.
Footnote:
Tasted 3/2007.

Kopke Good Rich Madeira
Bottle:
Miniature bottle with screwcap.
Color:
Dark iodine with tawny rim, some sediment.
Nose:
No VA, candied orange peel, vegetable soup flavor.
Palate:
Off dry, spirity, raw, toffee, coffee, short and bitter finish.
Footnote:
Tasted 3/2007.

Pries Scholtz Camara De Lobos Madeira
Bottle:
Miniature bottle with screwcap.
Color:
Bright tawny with orange rim, some sediment.
Nose:
Lots of VA, toffee.
Palate:
Off dry, raw, toffee, short and bitter finish.
Footnote:
Tasted 3/2007.

Roz├Ęs Rainwater Madeira
Bottle:
Miniature bottle with wicker cap and short stopper cork.
Color:
Iodine, tawny rim.
Nose:
Lots of VA, toffee, caramel.
Palate:
Off dry, toffee, caramel, short and bitter finish.
Footnote:
Tasted 3/2007.

Unknown Shipper
Bottle:
Miniature bottle with very old JNV paper seal, small stopper cork.
Color:
Dark iodine, orange rim, lots of sediment.
Nose:
Some VA, burnt coffee, caramel.
Palate:
Some sweetness, good acidity, caramel, toffee, a little spirity, short and sweet finish.
Footnote:
Tasted 3/2007.

V8 Seco, Barbeito
Bottle:
Miniature bottle with JNV paper seal and small but moist cork with foil cap.
Color:
Muddy iodine with orange rim, some sediment.
Nose:
Disgusting smell of cooked vegetables and some caramel.
Palate:
Some sweetness, medium acidity, toffee, short and sweet finish.
Footnote:
Tasted 3/2007.

I admit, I did not drink up any of these cheap Madeira wines. I "blended" them together in a big bottle and use them for cooking now :-)

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