D’Oliveiras, Reserva Terrantez, Madeira, Portugal, 1977
On terrantez styles
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 the finish.
This wine: lot no. not found, so a single bottling run assumed; varietal terrantez, aged by the canteiro method, in old oak barrels, bottled 2008, short (38 mm ) coated natural cork closure, 20% abv, Vintage Wine & Port, £139 (12/15) .
This vintage last tasted 22/12/17.
Consumer tasting note: a Madeira aged for 30 years by the traditional canteiro method, in barrels under the eaves, gently cooking in the heat. The oxidised profile is intense on nose and in mid-palate, of high toned pickled walnuts, linseed oil, crushed nuts, hints of lemon peel and dark thick cut marmalade, christmas pudding and old straw. Full bodied, with bracing acidity, that leaves the palate completely clean, leading to a long finish.
Drink now – RTD, and will keep for decades – Wait. No need to decant.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, deep intensity tawny, showing tears [tbc sediment].
Nose: clean, pronounced intensity, fully developed, with aromas as they come, of high toned pickled walnuts, dark toffee, linseed oil, oil paint, crushed hazelnut and walnut, a hint of dried lemon peel, old polished wood, muscovado sugar, warm raisin, burnt caramel, christmas pudding, a hint of dark thick cut marmalade, old straw.
Palate: (just) off-dry, high acidity, fortified high, full body, pronounced intensity, a light grip and a smooth velvety texture, with flavours of crushed roast hazelnut edged with crushed walnut, old polished wood, pickled walnut, dark toffee, hint of linseed oil. A long length with a clean, quite acerbic, lightly grippy finish.
Quality: outstanding, the high acidity balancing the high alcohol; all variables are strong throughout – intensity, concentration and length; fully developed and showing high complexity, leading to a long length.
Drinking readiness/ageing potential: (as with the previous tasting ) drink now, unsuited to further ageing – fully developed from oxidative ageing, will not improve, but will keep for decades – all the indicators for the long haul are optimum – length, intensity, concentration, complexity.