Malvazia Madeira wine grape

Malvazia Madeira wine grape

The Malvasia Madeira wine grape which produces Malmsey wine is grown almost exclusively on the south side of the island at lower altitudes (150m – 200m), this varietal is the first to be harvested, having an early ripening.

Malmsey grapes growing in Madeira
Malvazia wine grapes (Blandy’s)

The Malmsey or Malvasia wine grape is sweet and produce rich full-bodied wines that are dark in colour. In the mouth, the bouquet reveals notes of spices and honey and taste quite wonderful and is usually bottled under the name Malmsey but can be found labelled Malvazia.

Malmsey is the wine that Madeira is most famous for, and is a dark rich wine, with a musky fragrant nose, this is a very sweet wine that lingers on the palate.

It is a robust wine that is able to accompany any dessert, and as with most Madeira wines is at 18 or 19% ABV a rich warming and wonderful experience. It is often asked is this a dessert wine or a liqueur. Well, it seems to bridge both categories.

Malmsey has vanilla notes, along with molasses, walnuts and caramel.  This wine from certain growers has coffee flavours.

Image courtesy of Blandy’s 

You can read more about Malmsey, its taste and what to eat with it here.

My thanks to Blandy’s for these succinct descriptions which I have embellished.