Henriques & Henriques Madeira
About Henriques & Henriques ... In 1850 the family's interests were established as a firm, which by 1925 concentrated on shipping its own wines rather than supplying them to the other shippers.
In June 1992 the company undertook an expansion programme with a value of more than US$6,000,000. The new installations provide the company with modern vinification and ageing capacity.
At 600 to 750 metres above sea level,
at Quinta Grande a new vineyard was planted in January 1995. Its 10 hectares
(25 acres) constitute the largest single vineyard on the Island and it is also
the first on Madeira to be mechanised.
Henriques & Henriques is now the largest independent producer and shipper of Madeira Wines and the only Madeira House who owns vineyards.
The company relies on the most recent technical innovations, keeping however the unbroken family tradition that has lasted for 500 years in the production of the finest Madeira wines.
Madeira Grape varieties – There are six grapes that can be used for the production of Madeira: 5 of these are classified as "noble”.
Sercial – The most dry.
Verdelho – Medium dry.
Bual – Medium rich/sweet. On many wine labels of Madeira wine, the variety's name is anglicized as Bual. Madeira from Bual is typically less sweet than that from Malmsey, but more sweet than Sercial or Verdelho. The vines are also common in Portugal and Spain
Malvasia – Most classic Madeira grape, the richest and sweetest.
Terrantez – A rare variety that produces much sought after wines.
Tint Negra – This variety is not a noble one but the most prolific and versatile of all grapes on the Island. It has the capacity of producing wines in the style of those produced from the "noble varieties”.
About Madeiras … Madeira starts life as fermenting must and is then fortified, either to arrest fermentation for a Malmsey or a Bual, or after fermenting out, in the case of Sercial or a Verdelho (to a minimum of 17% alcohol) and undergoes its own very special maturation process. Fermentation takes place at different stages according to the grape variety used. Grapes are picked from mid-August up to the end of October and the special 'estufagem' of the wines begins in January.
The Estufa process ... The unique character of Madeira was discovered in the 15th Century, when Madeira wines were used as victuals for ship's companies, stored in the holds of caravels. The blowsy heat of the ship's hold was found to have dramatically improved the wines, making them richer and more complex, as well as proving them to be the most stable in heat. This also demonstrated the great ageing potential that they had. The wines are estufa'd usually for 3 months in termperatures rising to 45 degrees C before being allowed to cool. Maturation then starts in wooden casks, which need not be topped up.
Invented in 1938 by Peter Cossart, father of John Cossart, Monte Seco was the first wine he made on his own at the age of 19. It was his answer in terms of Madeira to Fino and Manzanilla.
Canteiros ... The wines that go into "Canteiro” are aged in casks, usually on the top floors of the wine cellars, where the temperature is higher, for a period of two years. This originates a type of oxidative ageing in the cask, allowing the wine to develop unique characteristics of intense and complex aromas. "Canteiro” wines may only be commercialized once at least three years have elapsed, counting from the 1st January of the year following the harvest.
When to serve Madeira?
The dry Madira`s such as Sercial and Verdelho are delicious as chilled aperitifs. The sweeter wines are served with dessert and the richest wine, the Malmsey, is an excellent after-dinner drink.
THE HENRIQUE & HENRIQUE MADEIRA 5 YEAR RANGE AT THE CHEESE AND WINE SHOP;
Finest Dry "Reserve" 5 years old
Ageing in oak casks has given this dry wine a soft, subtle aroma. A very elegant aperitif with a brilliant fruity flavour
Finest Medium Dry "Reserve" 5 years old
The mellowing effect of ageing in oak casks has created this harmonious Madeira with a prolonged fruity flavour. Soft and elegant but keeping its freshness.
Finest Medium Rich "Reserve" 5 years old
A full Madeira with a rich spicy flavour. Soft developed finish which is due to ageing in oak casks. A mellow wine to accompany desserts or to drink as a digestive.
Madeira`s are Great for Christmas …
Christmas is unthinkable without the sweetest of Madeiras, but why wait until then? The toffee and walnut flavours go so well with our great Cheddars and, unlike the Duke of Clarence, who was drowned in a butt of it in 1478, you don’t have to drink it all at once; the opened bottle will keep well if kept in a cool place.