Leacock’s Rainwater Madeira


Madeira, Portugal


Buy from Wine.com


Made from Tinta Negra Mole grapes collected from multiple small, terraced vineyards that cling to the steep mountainous slopes of the island, this is a medium-dry wine combining soft fruit flavors with a dry, nutty quality. The grapes are fermented in stainless steel tanks until a neutral grape spirit brandy is added to stop the fermentation. Following fermentation, the wine undergoes a heating process, estufagem, where it is placed in cask in a special lodge or estufa where it will remain for at least three months. This heating process oxidizes the wine, giving it a very long shelf life and its characteristic nutty, rich flavors. 18% alc.

An island off of Portugal, Madiera is best known for its fortified wine. Madeira was a standard port of call for ships heading to the New World or East Indies. During the 18th century of exploration to different continents, shipments of the wine had a problem of spoiling. To prevent this from happening, neutral grape spirits were added. When an unsold shipment of wine returned to the islands after a round trip, the flavor of the wine was transformed by exposure to heat and movement. This resulted in a "nutty" taste. Madeira is noted for its unique winemaking process which involves heating the wine and deliberately exposing it to oxygen.