The well reputed and recognized Barbeitos Winery is located far away up on the steep slopes outside Funchal on the beautiful island of Madeira.
Concerning balance, harmony and elegance it is outpassed of no other established winery producing this classic fortified wine according to our opinion.
On the arrival we were asked by Barbeitos pedagogical genius, Leandro Gouveia if we had any specific expectations. In our usual impertinent way we asked for the possibility to train finding the grape origin in a couple of tastings. Here is what Leandro Goveia poured up:Cask samples of Boal, Tinta Negra, Bastardo and Malvasia from vintage 2017 but of course before the oxidation part of the process!
Tinta Negra and Malvasia had remainders of the nice primary fruity aromas while the Boal and certainly the Bastardo were in a neutral position between primary and final secondary mature aromas after a fullfilled oxidation.
It was a most interesting and unique experience to compare this partly empty Bastardo with a such a rare bottle as Bastardo 50 years! This means that the oldest parts of this sample should be one hundred years or more!It most amazing how layer after layer of mature nuanced aromas can develop in a the nose from a masterpiece like this!
Of course Leandro Gouveio offered perhaps more ”normal” samples.
The tenth and final we did not spit, a forty years Malvasia with full and rich sweetness together with all components of exotic fruit, almonds, caramel , sweet Christmas raisins, cocoa and a hint of Middle Eastern flavors.Perhaps the most unusual shown, but not tasted, was Barbeitos brand new white dry wine made of Verdhelo and not fortified and estufa-treated. Of the total amount of not more than 700 bottles made, we got the gift to bring one bottle back home!Nice bottles could be as efficient reminders as nice pictures.