Every now and again, you come across something to drink that is so fantastic that it leaves you speechless. Blandy’s Colheita Madeira Malmsey 1996 provided just such an experience.
Any Given Sunday
This was not a special occasion. Just two old dudes getting together at the end of a week on a lazy Sunday afternoon. No super bowl. The NCAA tournament had not begun although some of the conference finals were on. We just wanted to watch television together and have something cool to drink and eat.
We headed around the corner to the neighborhood co-op, picked up a few meats and cheeses, got home, looked through the refrigerator for some fruits and veggies to accompany our charcuterie and settled in.
The afternoon turned out to be anything but ordinary.
Madeira is produced on the volcanic island 600 miles off of the coast of Portugal. Malmsey is a grape variety on Madeira which is often blended with Tinta Negra Mole.
Blandy has been making wine since 1811. They are the only remaining family that still owns and manages their winery from the original producers of Madeira on the island.
It is tough to describe how complex it was. There were times when it was sweet and dry at the same time. There were the figs, honey and raisin flavors that are described in other reviews. It was the harmony and boldness of the favor that I found most interesting. In a word, complex.
The thick almost syrupy Blandy’s was phenomenal. It complemented everything well It remained distinct while eating peppery meats and strong cheeses. The bright vibrant peppers went well with it too.
Blandy’s had character far beyond what I had expected. Good luck finding a bottle of the 1996. If you do, you should expect to lay out about $70 for the bottle.
But I have to say, if you do find it and have the money to get it, I highly recommend that you do. Its a bargain.