1895 Cossart Gordon Bual


Few wines are as indestructible as Madeira. Plenty of 19th-century wines continue to thrive. Following a recent exploration of Frédéric Mugnier’s Chambolle Les Amoureuses, we finished with this fine 128-year-old Madeira that affirmed its time-bending properties. Flicking through my copy of Madeira: The Island Vineyard, a very useful resource, I found that 92 bottles were auctioned in New York back in 2007. Therefore, I strongly suspect this came from that cache. The vintage was very fine, though commentators at the time remarked that it was particularly good for this grape variety.

The 1895 Bual from Cossart Gordon is clear in colour, limpid bronze/gold in hue and not particularly deep considering its age. The nose is not the best, stumbling in trying to convey the beauty of century-old Bual, too spirituous for my preference, slightly too oxidative, more like a Verdelho in some ways. That is entirely redeemed by a palate that is so fresh and vibrant, laden with quince and Seville orange marmalade and fine depth. The perky, lively finish is not tremendously long compared to other coeval Bual wines I have tasted over the years; nevertheless, this is a marvelous Madeira despite my shortcomings concerning the aromatics. 92/Drink 2023-2040.

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