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Leacock's 5 Year Malmsey Madiera

Madeira from Spain
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        Leacock's

        Leacock's

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        Leacock's, Spain
        The island of Madeira was discovered in 1419 by the Portuguese mariner João Gonçalves Zarco who had been instructed by Prince Henry the Navigator to explore the West African Coast. Prince Henry appointed Zarco first Governor of the island and ordered him to plant sugar cane and vineyards. The original impetus to the trade in Madeira was provided in the late 17th Century by the King of Portugal, Felipe I, who ordered that ships bound for the new Brazilian colony should call at the island to take on wine for the settlements that he was developing there.

        John Leacock sailed to Madeira from the United Kingdom (after the death of his father) in 1741 and at the age of 15 became the youngest apprentice at the firm of Madeira merchants, Catanach and Murdoch staying until his contract expired on 11 March 1749. During his apprenticeship he had been in constant contact with an old school friend, John Patient, residing at that time in Charles Town, South Carolina who suggested that they themselves should commence trading. Leacock agreed and this marks the birth of the now world famous company.

        In 1925, the wine industry was going through tough times and so both Leacock's and Blandy's amalgamated their interests and joined the Madeira Wine Association (now the Madeira Wine Company). The origins of the Madeira Wine Company started in 1913 when two companies, Welsh & Cunha and Henriques & Camara, joined forces to form the Madeira Wine Association Lda. Through the lean years that followed more companies joined to ensure their survival by reducing costs and pooling production whilst maintaining commercial independence.

        The origins of the Madeira Wine Company started in 1913 when two companies, Welsh & Cunha and Henriques & Camara, joined forces to form the Madeira Wine Association Lda. Through the lean years that followed more companies joined to ensure their survival by reducing costs and pooling production whilst maintaining commercial independence.

        Leacock's today is one of the four main brands in the company together with Blandy's, Cossart Gordon and Miles, and whose main markets include the United States of America, the Scandinavian countries, and the United Kingdom.

        Having recently been completely re-packaged with a new and modern label, Leacock's is set to continue its prominent positioning in the world market.By the reign of the English King, Charles II, demand for Madeira was firmly established along the North American seaboard. Indeed the wine played such an important part in the American way of life that it was used to toast the Declaration of Independence (July 4th 1776) and the Inauguration of George Washington (first President of the United States -1789) who, it was said, "drank a pint of Madeira at dinner daily."

        Known for bold reds, crisp whites and distinctive sparkling and fortified wines, Spain has embraced international varieties and wine styles while continuing to place primary emphasis on its own native grapes. Though the country’s climate is diverse, it is generally hot and dry. In the center of the country lies a vast, arid plateau known as the Meseta Central, characterized by extremely hot summers and frequent drought.

        Rioja is Spain’s best-known region, where earthy, age-worthy reds are made from Tempranillo and Garnacha (Grenache). Rioja also produces rich, nutty whites from the local Viura grape.

        Ribera del Duero is gaining ground with its single varietal Tempranillo wines, recognized for their concentration of fruit and opulence. Priorat, a sub-region of Catalonia, specializes in bold, full-bodied red blends of Garnacha (Grenache), Cariñena (Carignan), and often Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. Catalonia is also home to Cava, a sparkling wine made in the traditional method but from indigenous varieties. In the cool, damp northwest region of Galicia, refreshing white Albariño and Verdejo dominate.

        Sherry, Spain’s famous fortified wine, is produced in a wide range of styles from dry to lusciously sweet at the country’s southern tip in Jerez.

        A fortified wine named after the solitary island from which it comes, Madeira’s home is a steep, volcanic island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean that rises to over 6,000 feet at its highest point. As is the case with many wine styles of the world, Madeira was born more or less out of a mistake.

        During the 1600 and 1700s, the island of Madeira was an important pit stop for sea treks to the Americas and the East Indies. Shippers would load up on Madeira wine on their way across the Atlantic. Given Madeira’s likelihood to spoil on the journey, they added a little brandy to help preserve it. The subsequent heating and cooling of the casks, as they made their way across the sea, deepened and improved the wines’ flavors.

        Today there are two main types of Madeira. Blended Madeira is mostly inexpensive wine but there are a few remarkable aged styles. Single varietal Madeira, made as both non-vintage or single vintage wines, is usually the highest quality Madeira and has the longest aging potential. High quality Madeiras can improve in the bottle for decades.

        Four different grape varieties are used.

        Sercial shows lemony, spice and herbal notes with a stony mineral character and make great aperitif wines.

        Verdelho is smoky and dry and pairs with a variety of foods.

        Boal is complex with flavors of roasted coffee, caramel, cocoa and dates.

        Malmsey is the sweetest and fruitiest with roasted nut and chocolate notes.

        CWC944694_0 Item# 45382