I really like the Rare Wine Company’s Charleston Sercial bottling, which is one of my favorites in their fine historic Madeira bottling series. This wine only has one percent residual sugar, which with Madeira’s inherent tangy acids, comes across as quite dry, but beautifully buffered. The bouquet is a first class blend of white cherries, oranges, a touch of nutskin, fresh nutmeg, smoky overtones and a lovely base of soil. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, pure and beautifully transparent, with a superb core, racy acids and stunning tension and purity on the superbly focused and very long finish. This is really a terrific bottle! (Drink between 2010-2060)
The Historic Series are simply great Madeiras at reasonable prices. The Charleston Sercial is the driest of the collection, offering nutty aromas tinged with honey, caramel and maple syrup. Dried figs, honey and candied citrus flavors mark the palate, which is wonderfully smooth. The long finish features racy yet balanced acidity. *Editors' Choice* (JC)
Medium amber. Gingerbread, orange zest, clove, blond tobacco and honey on the nose. Spicy citrus and poached pear flavors are lifted by zesty acidity and show a gentle smoky quality on the back end. Blends sweetness and dryness smoothly, finishing with good nervy cut, a jolt of fleur de sel and lingering smoke, citrus and spice notes. (JR)
The non-vintage RWC Charleston Sercial (May 2012 bottling) has a light, crisp bouquet of walnut, mahogany bureau, pressed flowers and a touch of marmalade that demonstrates fine delineation. The palate is taut and crisp on the entry with tangy marmalade, quince, a touch of cough candy and orange peel. It has superb acidity with a very fine, elegant finish that is absolutely delightful. (NM)
Chamomile and Earl Grey tea notes accent the flavors of dried apple, tangerine and pineapple in this flinty style. Shows slight hints of matchstick, featuring a finish filled with citrus zest and plum sauce details. Drink now through 2028. (KM)
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