Mark Robertson, Dreweatts' Wine specialist, muses on the forgotten delights of Madeira wine.
I am not one for giving unsolicited advice, but, if pushed, I would say always keep those useful little screwdrivers you get in Christmas crackers, buy a foot pump before you go on a summer holiday with children...and try and drink more Madeira.
Pushed to the back of the drinks cabinet
The decline in the popularity of Madeira can be traced back to prohibition. Sadly, this also coincided with changes in shipping technology, negating the need for US ships to port at Madeira.
Changes in tastes and lifestyles over the 20th century led this wonderful wine to be pushed even further to the back of the drinks cabinet.
1952 Silver Jubilee Bual (1977), Ellis Son & Vidler Limited, 6 x 75cl; est. £1,200-1,800 (+fees)
But, as the global wine market expands and encounters inquisitive minds, new cuisines and lifestyles, we are thankfully seeing a renaissance.
Madeira is now being paired with food rather than just added to it. It is also a wine that makes you think, not just because of its richness, complexity and incredible aromatics that can engulf an entire room, but also about the past.
1901 Malmsey, Blandys, 1 x 75cl; est. £300-500 (+fees)
Whilst drinking a great Bordeaux from 1982, I doubt one reflects on the launch of the first Commodore computer, but, with a similarly priced 1820 Madeira, it is incredible to consider that George III had just died when the grapes were picked.
In our forthcoming April sale, we are delighted to offer multiple bottles and vintages that span 200 years. My highlights include:
1820 Bual, Lomilino
Est. £3,000-4,000 (+fees)
2,000 bottles were bottled in 1962 and released in 1970. We offer six of them in perfect condition.
1820-1970 Solera Bual Anniversary, Lomelino; bottle numbers 994, 1014, 1277, 1386, 2 unknown, 6 x 75cl; est. £3,000-4,000 (+fees)
1845 Bual, Cossart Gordon
2x75cl (4 lots)
1901 Malmesy, Blandys
1x75cl (2 lots)
1952 Bual, Cossart Gordon (Silver Jubilee)
6x75cl (2 lots)
Catalogue available soon.
1845 Solera, Bual Cossart Gordon; est. £200-400 (+fees)
Now inviting entries for our summer wine auction on 27 June.
We can provide valuations on single bottles and entire cellars, as well as advice on starting and maintaining your cellar. To consign to a forthcoming sale for further information, please contact: Mark Robertson or Dianne Wall | firstname.lastname@example.org | +44 (0)1635 553 553.