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Henriques & Henriques

A Treasure Trove of Compelling Madeira Gems

“I know of no wine of its class that can beat Madeira when at its best… In fact, I think Madeira and Burgundy carry combined intensity and complexity of vinous delights further than any other wine.” George Saintsbury, Notes on a Cellar-Book

Tastes have changed a little since the above words were written in 1920. But don’t they say: “Fashion is temporary, class is permanent”? Today the wines of Madeira have a new squad of cheerleaders in wine writers like Jancis Robinson, Alex Liddel and Niklas Jörgensen—not to mention scores of sommeliers who have embraced this unique wine style. Part of this passion is being fuelled by Madeira’s ability to match so well with a wide range of foods, and the way it’s finding a place in contemporary cocktails.

Madeira is a fortified wine from the island of the same name—a kind of Galápagos Island for vines—in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Portugal. Often grown on terraced vineyards, Madeira is produced in a range of styles from off-dry to sweet, always with elegance and a distinctive, refreshing close. This is what separates the style from other, heavier-tasting fortified wines and it is one of the unique features that makes it so successful at the table (and so delicious in general). 

Henriques & Henriques has established an impeccable reputation as one of the top sources of high-quality Madeira.

This is the leading independent Madeira shipping house and practise an uncompromising devotion to the quality of their vineyards and their wines. Henriques is the only house we know of that owns and farms a significant proportion of its own vineyards. They are also unique in their holdings of extensive stocks in cask, some more than a century old. Under the stewardship of Humberto Jardim, this venerable company has never produced better wines. 

Henriques’ entry wines are very handy pourers or stand-by bottles for the fridge or shelf. They are predominantly made from Tinta Negra Mole—with 10% to 20% of Sercial, Verdelho or Malvasia depending on the age and style. The five-year-old blends carry more complexity and body from both the extra two years in barrel and the higher percentage of the four noble grape varieties in the blend.

The 10-Year-Old range is the level where the serious action begins, a leap ahead of the simpler young wines. Obviously aging for over a decade in oak casks produces more concentrated and intense wines, but more significantly, these wines must also be made from at least 85% of the four noble Madeira varieties: Sercial, Verdelho, Bual and Malvasia. When you get to the 15-Year-Old wines (and older), there is yet another jump in quality and concentration. These are brilliant wines with great intensity, complexity and length. You can open and sip these wines over a few weeks or even months—if you can show that level of restraint!

Finally, we also ship Henriques’ Garrafeira wines, this estate’s ‘Grand Cru’ offering. Vintage Madeira, or Garrafeira, must be aged for a minimum of 20 years in cask, and a further two years in bottle before release. On the category, Alex Liddell, author of Madeira [Hurst & Company, 2014] has written, “These wines are the glory of Madeira and, with the best examples of dated wines from the past, the yardstick by which it is to be judged to be a world-class wine.” While we may not have tasted every vintage, the quality and style of those that we have—will live on in our memories for many years to come. 

The Range

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“Henriques & Henriques ten year olds [and 15 year olds] are much the best of the genre. Made from the four ‘noble’ grapes, they have much of the clean, high-toned, incisive character of a really fine Madeira for a fraction of the price.” Richard Mayson, Portugal’s Wines & Wine Makers

“Top-quality madeira is one of the world's most wickedly underrated fine wines. I know you will have read that about sherry - and that's true too - but I can understand why people don't like sherry. It does have a characteristic flavour that some palates will find off-putting. But madeira tastes like the elixir of life itself.” Jancis Robinson MW, www.jancisrobinson.com



Primary Region



Winemaker: Humberto Jardim



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