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Next year, when I visit Artur and Edmundo Olim, the brothers at Artur Barros e Sousa, I’m going to ask the guys if it is ok I bring a book, sit the whole day at a bench in their beautiful courtyard, sipping a Muy Viejo Boal or Verdelho, and just enjoy life.
When visiting Artur and Edmundo focus is perhaps not on what’s new on the shelves. Why? First of all, the production is extremely limited and the brothers bottle more or less on demand, or to put it like this, when a re-fill is called upon.
Writing about their wines are just as important as any other Madeira wine producer’s, even if ABSL doesn’t export, simply because their style represents a traditional Madeira which doesn’t flirt with the modern day palate at all. Ok, the young wines are easier to appreciate but the vintage wines can be a bit more demanding.
One wine though, was on my radar at this visit, the 1981 Terrantez. For a special and a bit sad reason; Edmundo had told me this was the last Terrantez he had in the canteiro. There’s still some left in cask of the 1981 but after this vintage, ABSL are sold out of Terrantez.
Again, we are reminded of just how rare the grape is, and that serious efforts are essential from IVBAM, the control institute, if the grape shall survive in Madeira. The Terrantez geeks exists and we are prepared to pay extra just to be able to drink Terrantez even in the future. So, please, some action!
Edmundo brings me a glass of the 1981 Terrantez. As with most of the ABSL wines, it is pale in color and quite bright as well. Lots of roasted almonds on the nose, together with a herbal touch, dust, iodine, caramel and tobacco. Yes, it is from 1981 but the bouquet is still quite….youthful?
Elegant on the palate, no blockbuster but with mineral like acidity, almonds and walnuts, herbs, honey, Oolong and flowers, it is offering quite a complex texture. Balancing acidity in this medium dry Terrantez and a refreshing finish with that oh so typical bitterness of the grape.
When comparing with the two previous vintages, the 1979 and 1980 I am preferring the oldest of them, but I suspect that is because the wines of ABSL need some time in bottle as well. Still, it is a fine trilogy and it is sad that there will be no 1982….this is it folks, no more Terrantez.
The MAM Opinion:
Buy it? Then you have to visit the island because ABSL doesn’t export. See, yet a reason to visit Madeira!
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What’s hot, what’s not5 quick ones 10 Years Old 15 Years Old 20 Years Old 1940 1954 2011 2012 ABSL Adega do Torreão Artur Barros Sousa Barbeito Bastardo Blandy's Blends Boal Bual Camara de Lobos Canteiro Colheita Cossart Gordon Francisco Albuquerque Funchal H.M. Borges Henriques and Henriques Ivo Couto Justino's Luís d'Oliveira Madeira Malmsey Malvasia Mannie Berk MWC Pereira d'Oliveira Retailers Ricardo Diogo Freitas Sercial Single Cask Solera Terrantez The Rare Wine Co. Tinta Negra Uncategorized Verdelho Vintage
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