Fortnum’s Single Cask Madeira 2001: seasonal wine of the day
Own labels are exclusive but do the wines necessarily warrant the positive connotations associated with exclusivity? Fortnum & Mason’s wine buyer Tim French works closely with two of my favourite Portuguese fortified producers, Niepoort (Port) and Barbeito (Madeira), so I’ve no hesitation giving Fortnum’s own label Ports and Madeiras the big thumbs up.
I’m particularly enamoured of Barbeito’s single cask Madeiras. They’re as exciting a wine as you’ll find on the planet, so I’m not talking just fortifieds and, as the names suggests, Fortnum’s Single Cask Madeira 2001 really is exclusive -the product of one barrel of Malvasia.
Though the Malvasia grape produces Madeira’s sweetest, richest style, Barbeito’s Madeiras are as racy as they come, with sweet citrus acidity which provides the perfect foil for Christmas pud. It’s a good buy too at £23.50 for a 50cl bottle at Fortnums & Mason.