Rare Madeiras dating back well over 200 years feature in a forthcoming Bonhams auction of the cellar of Madeira specialist Patrick Grubb MW.
The sale in London on 14 July will include more than 250 bottles of the celebrated fortified wine, with a combined estimate of up to £100,000 – the result of more than 40 years of collecting by Grubb.
Among the rarest lots are two bottles of Terrantez from the legendary 1795 vintage (estimate £1,800-2,200 each), plus two bottles of Rumo da India 1810 (£1,000-3,000 each), the story of which is linked to the creation of the Madeira style.
The Rumo da India bottles are known to have made the long voyage from Madeira to India and back – a journey which, along with a similar return voyage to Brazil, helped to create Madeira’s unique character and flavour, since replicated by maturation in lodges on the island itself.
The auction also includes early 19th-century bottles sourced from Syrian embroidery merchant Braheem Kassab, and from Oscar Acciaioly, the descendant of an Italian family which settled on Madeira in 1515.
The rarity of some of the lots is linked to the modern scarcity of their grape variety, such as Terrantez bottlings from the 1800s; or to the vineyard with which they are associated, such as 1877 Boaventura and 1914 Faja dos Prades.
Grubb, who became a Master of Wine in 1958, is one of the world’s leading experts on Madeira and set up his own business dealing in vintage Madeiras in 1984.
Richard Harvey MW, head of Bonhams wine department, described Grubb as ‘a legendary figure in wine circles’ and said it was a privilege to sell his cellar, plus his library of books and cuttings on Madeira.