Terrantez, 1976

  Henriques & Henriques

Contains Sulphites.

Appellation: Madeira

Madeira is a beautiful island located off the coast of Portugal famed for its dazzling array of fortified wines. Discovered by happy accident, it undergoes a fairly brutal ageing process which bizarrely renders the final wine not only highly delicious, but also as age-worthy as just about any wine in existence. 18th century trans-Atlantic voyages saw barrels of astringent wine fortified with a bucket or two of local brandy, a process these days replicated with long barrel ageing in specially constructed hot stores called Estufas. This process of repeated heating and cooling, a sure death knell for any other wine, produces wines that run from aperitif to digestif, with broad swathes of intense flavour always tempered by a keen blade of uplifting acidity.

Grape Type: Terrantez

Terrantez is an almost extinct white-wine grape variety from Madeira. It has previosuly been said that it was the same variety as Folgasao but more modern ampelographic research has disproved this. A variety known as Terrantez is used on the Portuguese mainland, but this is also distinct from Madeira's Terrantez. Terrantez vines produce very low yields of high-quality grapes, so while the wine they make can be of excellent quality, growing the vines represents a significantly greater investment than hardier, high-yielding varieties such as Tinta Negra Mole (which now dominates Madeira's vineyards).