Thursday, October 24, 2013

Artur de Barros e Sousa LDA 1983 Verdelho Madeira - Year 30

Artur de Barros e Sousa LDA 1983 Verdelho Madeira
Madeira, Portugal

It happened. I turned 30. I suppose it was inevitable. In anticipation of this inescapable truth I bought myself a little something last May when I was on Madeira -- a vintage Verdelho from my birth year.

Artur de Barros e Sousa LDA (ABSL) is a teeny tiny producer, the smallest in fact on the island. It's currently run by brothers Artur and Edmundo Olim, fourth generation descendants of the founder Dr. Pedro José Lomelino who began the company in 1890. We visited their facility in Funchal in May and were simply charmed! None of their wines are exported -- making my tourist purchase even more special.

I opened this beauty to start breathing a few months ago. It was bottled in 2010 after 27 in a wooden "pipa" and needed some time to stretch its legs and open up. Assuming my cats don't knock over the bottle this wine should last me until I drink every last drop -- Madeira is amazing in that unlike table wine, this fortified wine simply won't spoil after opening. The plan is to have a glass every year on my birthday to see how the wine evolves over time.

Review: What a pretty wine! It's a soft, pale amber color with medium intense aromas of toasted marcona almonds, golden raisins, and honey. Verdelho Madeiras are vinified in a delicous dry style. On the palate this wine is amazingly bright and lively -- for any wine, not just a 30 year old one. Verdelho Madeiras are vinified in a delicous dry style. The resuts here are more nuts and honey, along with apricots and this amazing touch of vanilla. It is toasty and tasty! The nuttiness lingers for minutes after each sip -- the length is truly spectacular.

Food Pairing: I had my sips with a little birthday carrot cake! Yummers.

Bottom Line: So happy! I can't wait to see how this wine does next year.

Wine Geekery:
  • VINTAGE: 1983
  • PLACE: Madeira
  • GRAPE: Verdelho
  • AGEING: 27 years in cask
  • BOOZE: 18.0%
  • CELLAR: I'll be sipping this wine for... as long as there's some in the bottle. 

Where did I get it? ABSL in Funchal, Madeira
What's the damage? Super Premium 

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