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Saveiro ‘Vento do Oeste’ Meio Doce Madeira

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Like the westerly trade winds that give ‘Vento do Oeste’ its name, this wine both affirms historic ties between the island of Madeira and America and elaborates upon them: Where pipes (casks) of madeira once sailed to the American colonies, bourbon barrels are now routinely shipped from Kentucky to the island for ‘finishing’ before traveling further along modern trade routes to distilleries worldwide. Made with Tinta Negra, Saveiro ‘Vento do Oeste’ Meio Doce (‘Medium-Rich’) is bourbon barrel-finished madeira, the first of its kind off the island, aged for three years in a traditional manner before finishing an additional 12 to 18 months in used bourbon barrels.

Testament to its unique elevage, ‘Vento do Oeste’ is a fascinating character study. Notes and flavors of sorghum, French-burnt peanut, dry vanillin, roasted orange, and rancio-tinged baking spices are set against a backdrop of smoky/sweet, slightly funky bourbon barrel. A hallmark of many Henriques & Henriques wines, the acidity is thoroughly integrated, providing clarity and lift throughout; the time in bourbon barrel lending not only nuanced flavors but subtle tannins to augment that acidity—a new framework of expression.