Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Broadbent Rainwater Madeira

Broadbent Rainwater Madeira
Madiera, Portugal


Happy (slightly belated) Independence Day! You many not think it, but there are few things more patriotic than a glass Madeira. Madeira was used to toast not only the Continental Congress's signing of the Declaration of Independence, but also President George Washington's inauguration.

Yesterday I popped open a bottle of the historic beverage myself to toast America's birthday. I went with a lighter style of Madeira -- Rainwater -- to go with the steamy summer night. (In case you missed me, my 3 month absence from blogging has come to a close as the relocation from Washington, DC to Nashville, TN has finally been completed. Can you believe that it's EVEN MORE HUMID here than it was in DC? Crazy business.) The name Rainwater is said to have originated when a shipment was diluted by rain during transit across the Atlantic to the United States; hence the style's light character.

Rainwater is not made from one of the noble white grapes grown on the island (Malmsey, Bual, Verdelho, Sercial), but from the red grape Tinta Negra. Most wine made on the island, roughly 90 percent, is made from this workhorse grape. This one is categorized by its level of sweetness (Medium Dry), rather than with an age indication.

Review: The Madeira has a beautiful pale amber hue and aromas of roasted almonds, orange marmalade, and dried dates. The palate is shows a hit sweetness, balanced by brisk acidity. The texture is soft and supple, with bright flavors of nuts, caramel, confected citrus, and a hint of roasted coffee. The finish is long and flavorful.

This wine is reminiscent of Madeira made from Bual grapes, where nut and fruit characteristics dominate the relatively sweet, brightly acidic wine.

Food Pairing: Perfect on its own, served slightly chilled as an aperitif. Or drink with some stinky cheeses or rustic Pâté.

Bottom Line:  I particularly enjoyed the lively acidity in the wine, keeping it refreshing even with the high level of residual sugar. The perfect summer drink to sip on a warm sticky day - holiday or not. Open one bottle and it will last you the whole season!


Wine Geekery:
  • PLACE: Madeira
  • GRAPE: Tinta Negra
  • VINTAGE: Non-Vintage
  • BOOZE: 19.0%
  • RESIDUAL SUGAR: 67.5 g/L
  • CELLAR: Drink now, but will hold for a very very long time
  • www.broadbent.com/

Where did I get it? Village Wines, Nashville, TN
What's the damage? High Priced (but only barely)

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