How To Walk Away From A Madeira Tasting

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Good Friends Share Their Madeira

Madeira is one of the most ignored fortified wines of our era, especially by the younger generation. Why? I am not sure, but they should pay attention to this one! My partner in wine and I will be attending a Madeira tasting in NYC today, and the key is to swish and spit, at least three times before making a decision about each wine. You will be hearing our thoughts on 40 different bottles of this goodness- if we can walk away…we may be crawling home!


Various quality vineyards at Campanário and
Calheta at altitudes between 100 and 300m.

Cossart Gordon 5 year old Bual underwent
fermentation off the skins with natural yeast at
between 18°C – 21°C in temperature controlled
stainless steel tanks. After approximately 3
days, fortification with grape brandy takes
place, arresting fermentation at the desired
degree of sweetness.

Cossart Gordon 5 year old Bual was aged in
American oak casks in the traditional
‘Canteiro’ system. This comprises of the gentle
heating of the wine in the lofts of the lodges in
Funchal. Over the years the wine is transferred
from the top floors to the middle floors and
eventually to the ground floor where it is
cooler. After this gradual ‘estufagem’ the wine
underwent racking and fining before the blend
was assembled and bottled.

Alcohol: 19% ABV pH: 3.45 Residual Sugar:
85.0 g/l Total Acidity: 6.5 g/l tartaric acid

Cossart Gordon 5 year old Bual is fined and
does not require decanting. It is excellent as an
after dinner drink and also very good with fruit,
milk chocolate, cakes and hard cheeses. It has
been bottled when ready for drinking and will
keep for several months after opening.

Clear, amber colour with tinges of gold; a
bouquet of dried fruit, vanilla, wood and toffee
with a smooth, medium-sweet finish and an
excellent balance between the fruit and acidity.

“Medium amber with a restrained aroma of
nuts, coffee and chocolate and even a hint of
olives as the wine opens up. The flavours
amplify these aromas, with the addition of
subtle, tangy lime quality to offset the
sweetness of the wine”. Lyn Farmer – The
Wine News, March 2001

Silver medal – IWC 1999
Bronze Medal – IWC 2003

Madeira Fact: The colonies in North America were at the time the largest and most discerning market, so much so in fact that the best production was widely known as ‘American Madeira’. Madeira played such an important part in American life that it was used to toast the Declaration of Independence on July 4th 1776.


Chef Elizabeth Stelling

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