About Henriques & Henriques Madeira:
It might be said that the history of Henriques & Henriques is the history of Madeira itself. Legend has it that Infante Dom Henriques planted the island’s first vines in 1425. These vines gave fruit to one of the “first families of Madeira” and in the process sunk deep roots which Henriques’ descendants and successors continue to draw upon in guiding H&H today.
Madeira is a Portuguese-owned archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean, 600 miles (970km) southwest of Lisbon and 450 miles due west of the north African coast. It gives its name to one of the world's great fortified wines. Both the wine and the island hold unique places in the history of wine. All fortified wine from the island is now produced under the Madeira DOC.
Known variously as Malvasia, Malvazia and Malmsey, Malvasia is historically the most celebrated of the classic grapes varieties on the island: the sweetest and most unctuous of madeiras—the stuff of legends, literature and song. Yet there are at least two, genetically distinct Malvasia now planted on the island: Malvasia Cândida and Malvasia Branca de São Jorge. Thought to have first been planted in the fifteenth century, the former is notoriously difficult to grow and now quite limited in acreage. Malvasia Branca de São Jorge was first planted during the late-1960s and early 70s; it dominates all Malvasia bottlings since that time and accounts for the large majority of Malvasia’s 37 ha currently planted on the island. In its youth, Malvasia is lighter-hued than Boal, but with elevage it darkens considerably, resulting in wines that are full-bodied and opulent, rich with flavors of toffee, molasses, caramel, coffee, quince and spice cake, yet (like all madeiras) never cloying.
The H&H Malvasia 10-Year exhibits classic Malmsey character: Sweet dried fruits (including orange marmalade and cherry), Demerara sugar, toffee, espresso and walnut, with a whisper of rancio for goodly measure. Impressively rich, full-bodied and complete, its sweetness balanced and length assured by its native acidity—Madeira’s patrimony.
Pairing Recommendations at the table include: with roasted nuts (especially walnuts) and blue-veined cheeses. For dessert: with crème caramel or brûlée, tarte tatin, classic bolo de mel, and coffee-accented sweets. As a digestif: solo, or with a full-bodied cigar.