D’Oliveira, Terrantez, Madeira, Portugal, 1988
According to Madeira Wine Guide (MWG) and BBR, there are two vintage terrantez styles, both are richly flavoured, but one is rather sweet and the other very dry, not unlike sercial. A differentiating characteristic, according to MWG, is a bitterness on the end of a terrantez.
This wine: varietal terrantez, aged by the canteiro method, in old oak barrels, bottled 2016, natural cork closure, 20% abv, Vintage Wine and Port, £63 (12/16)
Consumer tasting note: a strong nose of old walnuts edged with dried orange peel, old varnished wood, dark toffee, rich dried citrus, and christmas cake dosed with armagnac and rum; off-dry, full-bodied, with strong flavours of dark toffee, pickled walnuts, linseed oil and christmas cake, following into a long long length with a palate cleansed finish. Cellar upright.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, pale intensity brown, showing tears.
Nose: clean, pronounced intensity, fully developed, with aromas as they come, of warm walnuts, oloroso sherry – a good one, old varnished wood, large warm raisins, rich dried orange peel, warm mincemeat, pickled walnuts, warm linseed oil, dried fig, very dark toffee, very mature christmas cake well dosed with old armagnac and dark rum, buttered roasted nuts, the darkest muscovado sugar, the darkest richest thickest most mature marmalade.
Palate: off-dry, medium (+) acidity, fortified high, full-bodied, a moderate grip and a velvety texture, pronounced intensity, with flavours of thick dark toffee, old thick varnished wood, pickled walnuts, warm linseed oil, very mature christmas cake, roasted coffee. A very long length with a clean moderately grippy dark toffee-warm raisin finish, with as they say, above, a bitter edge on the end.
Quality: outstanding, deftly balanced acidity with alcohol, in keeping with the strident flavour intensity, fully developed from extended oxidative ageing, showing a high level of complexity on the nose, less so on the palate, with highly concentrated flavours following into a very long clean and fresh palate finish.
Readiness for drinking/potential for ageing: can drink now, not suitable for further ageing – that is it will not improve, but will keep for decades.