The 1795 Barbeito Terrantez was the perfect bookend to this dinner. Because of the age of many surviving bottles, Madeira is one of the world’s most evocative wines. I can’t drink Madeira without thinking about what was happening in the world when the wines were made. In 1795 George Washington was the United States President and the French Revolution was in full swing, but that’s not what made this wine so special. The 1795 Terrantez was just beautiful in its seamless, layered expression of this nearly-extinct grape variety. It offered superb concentration and spellbinding balance. Even after all the monumental wines we had enjoyed, it was impossible to resist a second glass of this magical elixir. For many of the tasters, myself included, it was among the highlights of an unforgettable night of great wines and friendship.
Robert Parker 92
This is my second encounter with the famous 1795 from Barbeito that was bottled on a number of occasions. I must confess that I preferred the example that I tasted on the island, which came from the final 23 bottles in 2006. The nose is less composed than the sample’s from the earlier tasting, with dried honey, a touch of freshly ground coffee and more dustiness than I was expecting. With aeration there is an intriguing menthol note, although it seems to distract from the focus. The palate is well-balanced and is still cohesive, however the volatility is more pronounced compared to the previous bottle. Whereas that was full of packed full of flavour and demonstrated razor-like precision, this rather stumbles over the finish line.