The islands and their wines (second edition)by Richard Mayson
Madeira is unique among wines. While heat and air cause most wines to deteriorate, they are instrumental in the ageing of Madeira, producing distinctive and enthralling wines. Decades (in some cases over a century) of ageing result in a wine that is virtually indestructible and which remains stable for many months, even years, once opened – a great advantage with an expensive old wine. More than thirty years ago Richard Mayson was seduced by the romance of tasting history through these wines. Since then he has accumulated a wealth of knowledge, enabling him to write a truly authoritative book on the modern world of Madeira wine. Historical sources are also invaluable when discussing wines being released today, since many were actually created in a bygone era.
Madeira begins by looking at the history of the islands and their wines and examining the geographical and climatic influences. The chapters covering the vineyards and winemaking techniques have been updated for this edition as knowledge of this enigmatic wine continues to be revealed. To the profiles of the producers, with notes on their typical wines, Mayson is pleased to add a new shipping firm, founded in 2012. A chapter on the shippers provides background information and tasting notes on more than 400 wines, many re-tasted since the first edition. Mayson then provides an inciteful chapter unravelling the language of tasting Madeira and explaining how to buy, keep and serve the wine, and concludes with a guide to visiting the islands. The book is completed with detailed appendices.
This thoroughly updated text makes essential reading for Madeira afficionados and will inspire newcomers to sample the delights of these singular wines.