Cossart Gordon Colheita Single Harvest Bual 1997
Cossart Gordon & Co. was established in 1745 and is the oldest company in the Madeira trade. The company was founded by two Scotsmen, Francis Newton and William Gordon, who fled Scotland following the failure of the Stuart cause which they supported. In 1808 William Cossart, an Irishman descended from a distinguished Huguenot family, joined the firm which later became known by its present name. Cossart Gordon & Co. prospered, trading assiduously with the American colonies where the company acquired an unequalled reputation as suppliers of fine Madeiras. The colonies in North America were at the time the largest and most discerning market, so much so in fact that the best production was widely known as 'American Madeira'. Madeira played such an important part in American life that it was used to toast the Declaration of Independence.
A steep, volcanic island in the Atlantic Ocean that rises to over 6,000 feet at its highest point, Madeira actually sits closer to Morocco than Portugal, the country to which it belongs.
Today the vineyards of the island cover tiny step-like terraces called poios, carved from the basalt bedrock. Aptly named Madeira, this fortified wine comes in two main styles. Blended Madeira is mostly inexpensive wine but there are a few remarkable aged styles. Single varietal Madeira (made from Sercial, Verdelho, Boal or Malmsey), is usually the highest quality and has the potential to improve in the bottle for decades.
Beyond the usual suspects, there are hundreds of white grape varieties grown throughout the world. Some are indigenous specialties capable of producing excellent single varietal wines, while others are better suited for use as blending grapes. Each has its own distinct viticultural characteristics, as well as aroma and flavor profiles, offering much to be discovered by the curious wine lover. In particular, Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece are known for having a multitude of unique varieties but they can really be found in any region.