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First taste: new vintage releases from Madeira Wine Company

Famously long-lived, Madeira is a distinctive choice for collectors of old vintages. Richard Mayson tastes and rates the newly released colheitas and frasqueiras from Blandy and Cossart Gordon, with bottles going back to 1976.  

The Madeira Wine Company (MWC) represents nearly three centuries of accumulated tradition. It is one of only two shippers on the island to carry large stocks of older Madeira wine. Cossart Gordon dates back to 1745 and is the oldest company still trading on Madeira.

As a result of mergers and acquisitions over the years it has become part of MWC, which also includes Leacock (founded a little later in the 18th century), Blandy (1811) and Miles (1814).

Scroll down to see tasting notes and scores for nine Madeira Wine Company new releases

In the mid-19th century the Blandy family was in a position to buy up stocks of old wines from other shippers that had been felled by the double whammy of oidium and phylloxera. This stood them in good stead and Blandy’s now plays a central role in the MWC which came under complete Blandy family control in 2010. Blandy’s still has wines ageing in barrel and demi-john going back to the 1920 Bual. It also has a museum stock of wines in bottle dating from the 19th century.

Madeira Wine Company new releases

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