Broadbent Rainwater Medium Dry Madeira $18
This light, lively and rather pale wine made of Tinta Negra (an important grape in Madeira that shows up in many wines) is produced by importer Bartholomew Broadbent in conjunction with Justino’s, an esteemed Madeira name. Aged three years in cask, it’s a delightful aperitif.
Blandy’s Five Year Old Sercial Dry Madeira $20
Produced by the Blandy’s Madeira house, which was founded in the early 19th century, this Madeira is made from the high-acid Sercial grape and is at the driest end of the Madeira spectrum. This is a bright and tangy wine with aromas of hazelnuts and dried fruit, reminiscent of dry Sherry. An excellent buy.
VB [Vinhos Barbeito] Reserva Lot 3 Medium Dry Madeira $48
Madeira fans know the Barbeito name well; their vintage wines are highly sought after. This blend of Verdelho and Bual (in a 500 ml bottle) strikes the right balance between dry and sweet and between rich and lively—with Madeira’s trademark acidity.
The Rare Wine Co. Historic Series Baltimore Rainwater Madeira $65
Rainwater Madeira (a dry, light-bodied style) was a favorite of Baltimoreans in the 18th and 19th centuries, hence this wine’s name. This nutty, refreshing drink, with notes of orange peel and almonds, is produced by prominent Madeira importer Mannie Berk with Barbeito’s winemaker Ricardo Freitas.
The Rare Wine Co. Historic Series New York Malmsey $65
Vintage Port lovers looking to branch out into Madeira might do well to start with a rich and decadent Malmsey. Made from the Malvasia grape, this full-bodied wine, marked by aromas of fruit cake and dark chocolate, was a particular favorite of New Yorkers in Madeira’s heyday. Messrs. Berk and Freitas also produce this wine together.