Tinta Negra Madeira wine grape
Tinta Negra is the only red grape variety used to produce traditional Madeira wine. Versatile and productive, it accounts for approximately 90% of the island production, being used predominately to make 3 year old wines, although not exclusively.
Depending on the altitude, humidity, region and solar exposure, the grapes can deliver richer or drier wines.
Indeed, so successful was Tinta Negra that it was in danger of completely eclipsing the 4 noble grape varieties. Tinta negra mole is much for flexible in that it is capable of growing at differing altitudes and produces higher yields per hectare, and is quite capable of producing wines of quality and similarity to the 4 noble varieties.
Henriques and Henriques have released a 50 year old tinta negra wine.
Tinta negra is usually used to produce the younger Madeira wines, so this is a very interesting development indeed.
For an understanding of what will be in the bottle see this page on reading the label.
Image courtesy of Blandy’s (Madeira Wine Company)
My thanks to Blandy’s for these succinct descriptions which I have embellished.