Barbeito, Boal, 10 Years Old Reserve
A friend gave me a Justino Boal as a gift, because I told him that was the one Madeira grape I hadn’t tried. The Justino turned out to be your granny’s Madeira, the kind of dull, musty drop that made the style go out of style. The Barbeito is a different ball game, a whole other level. In general, Barbeito is a producer returning excitement and creativity to the field.
This is fresh and vibrant, the musty rancio notes left in the background, where they add nuances without intruding. The nose is lemon tea, walnuts and mandarin oranges, with a punch of spices, maybe paprika? The palate is perfectly formed, sweetish with enough acidity and umami flavors and texture to make it seem drier than it actually is and is very jaunty and fresh, especially compared to the Justino. Great finesse and it only gets better every day that it's open, as it becomes deeper and more complex and the walnuts become saltier and more roasted. (Dec. 2019)
I've drank the Sercial and Malvasia 10 Year Reserves in the past. I'd say the Sercial is the most savory of the three, the Malvasia the richest and this, the Boal, freshest and most refined.