Wine Blogging Wednesday just cannot be stopped. Here we are, more than 4 years after its inception (this IS the 51st edition) and the theme is one of the few that shoved me way out of my comfort zone.
Not only was I forced to leave my beloved state of New York, but I also had to try a style of wine that I know very (very very) little about: wines that are intentionally oxidized at warm/hot temperatures. That's why the one and only (thankfully!) Joe Roberts, known in the blogosphere as 1WineDude, our esteemed host, termed the theme "Baked Goods." Prolonged exposure to heat and oxygen are typically not something winemakers want, but these wines are, in essence, baked to mimic the long sea voyage these wines took through the tropics.
There are many styles and 'reserve' levels of Madeira, but rather than repeat them all here, I'll simply point you over to Wikipedia.
This bottle, which I picked up from Greene Grape for around $45 if I remember correctly, falls into the "sercial" style, the driest, and is labeled as a special reserve, meaning that it was aged 10 years.
In the glass, it's a medium-to-dark gold-amber color. It's slightly viscous, but just barely so, perhaps because of the alcohol level (19% abv).
The aromas are interesting here, bringing roasted almonds, dried citrus peel, dried figs, something that reminds me of some of the peaty Scotch I've had. It's much drier than I expected, with great acidity. There is just a ton of delicious nuttiness. here with more dried citrus and figs. The finish lasts what seems like minutes on end. The only other Madeira I've tasted before was much sweeter and underwhelmed, but I really like this wine.
Best of all, from what I hear, I can hold onto it, even though it's open, for weeks, months or even longer before it starts to break down. It's already been bludgeoned by the elements and is already oxidized!
Joe, thanks for shoving me from my comfort zone and for hosting this, the 51st edition of WBW. Keep an eye out for the announcement for next edition, hopefully soon!