Blandy's Alvada Madeira 5 year old


SKU 03382


Madeira is a fortified wine made on the volcanic island of Madeira off the coasts of Portugal and Morocco. We met Chris Blandy and tasted through a full range of these beautiful historic wines. Alvada is aged for five years made of two grapes: Malmsey and Bual. Medium-bodied but richly flavored with notes of fig, date and roasted nuts. It is meant to be served after the meal with chocolate desserts or on its own.  

It has long been said that John Blandy, the founder of the family business, arrived in Madeira in 1807 aged twenty-three as a quartermaster to General Beresford, commander of the British garrison. Yet prolonged research among army lists yielded no mention of a John Blandy serving in Madeira. The truth was found instead by the Madeira wine lover and expert Emmanuel ‘Mannie’ Berk. In August 2006 he found a letter of introduction sent from London to Messrs Newton, Gordon, Murdoch, wine merchants in Madeira, which immediately solved the family mystery: ‘Sirs! At the desire of our particular friend, Richard Fuller Esq., Banker in this City, we beg leave to introduce Mr John Blandy who visits your Island on account of ill health, and wishes to obtain employment in a Counting House. We shall be obliged if you can promote his views, and accordingly recommend him to your attention.’ The letter is dated 23 December 1807, implying that John Blandy arrived in the island early in 1808 rather than with British forces some months before.

For 200 years, Blandy’s Madeira has been synonymous with quality Madeira wine.
The Blandys are unique in being the only family of all the original founders of the Madeira wine trade to still own and manage their own original wine company. The family has played a leading role in the development of Madeira wine throughout its long history and members of the family continue to live on Madeira, maintaining a tradition that goes back to 1811.
Michael and Chris Blandy are the 6th and 7th generations to work in the business.

In the 18th century, Madeira wine accounted for 75% of the wine consumed in the US. Madeira parties and clubs were commonplace---Americans loved this unique sweet wine! Madeira wines are aged through a heating process in which they lose up to 15% of their volume per year.  The constant oxidation in the aging process greatly contributes to the fact that Madeira, once opened, can last opened for many many months. Chris told us a story about opening a 1966, and leaving it open for a full year, and the wine was still fresh and perfect to drink! So buy a bottle of good Madeira and discover its beauty and charm...

Category Madeira
Country Portugal
Region Madeira
Brand Blandy's
  • wa88

Wine AdvocateMade from 50% Bual and 50% Malmsey, the non-vintage Alvada 5-Year-Old has a deep auburn/mahogany color. It has a precise, tightly wound bouquet of molasses, walnut and smoke that unfurls nicely in the glass. The palate is understated on the entry but builds towards a spicy, walnut-tinged finish with a long peppery aftertaste. This serves as a satisfying introduction to Madeira. All the 5-Year-Old Madeira is aged in cask for the requisite period.

Neal Martin, August 2012
  • ws87

Wine SpectatorThis offers a mix of dried white fruit flavors and forest floors notes that carry a smoky essence. Creamy and sweet on the finish. Bual and Malmsey. Drink now through 2020.

Kim Marcus, 2015
  • we86

Wine EnthusiastAmber-colored, with a green tinge to the rim, this is a medium-weight, not-terribly-sweet Madeira imbued with flavors of walnuts and dried figs. Lots of acidity on the finish.

Joe Czerwinski, March 1, 2005