Absinthe Pernod Fils "Garanti Fabriqué en 1913"

This is the classic "benchmark" Pernod Fils with the labels overprinted "Fabriqué en 1913"
(made in 1913). This is a very rare bottling - these bottles were the very last stock produced
by Pernod before the ban in 1914. They were sent to Holland for safekeeping and a small
quantity were released 25 years later for export in 1938 with this special overprinted label.
The balance of the stocks was unfortunately destroyed by bombing during the war. Photos
show the bottle still covered in the original cellar dust!
.
Vintage Madeira
"... when this wine was vintaged Marie Antoinette was still alive."
The roots of Madeira's wine industry dates back to the Age of Exploration when Madeira was a regular port
of call for ships traveling to the New World and East Indies. By the 16th centuries, records indicate that a
well established wine industry on the island was able to supply these ships with wine for the long voyages
across the sea. The earliest examples of Madeira, like port, were unfortified and had the habit of spoiling
at sea. Following the example of port, a small amount of distilled alcohol made from cane sugar was
added to stabilize the wine by boosting the alcohol content. (The modern process of fortification using
brandy did not become wide spread till the 18th century). The Dutch East India Company became a regular
customer, picking up large (112 gal/423 l) casks of wine known as pipes for their voyages to India. The
intense heat and constant movement of the ships had a transforming effect on the wine, as discovered by
Madeira producers when one shipment returned back to the island after a long trip. It was found that
customers preferred the taste of this style of wine, and Madeira labeled as vinho da roda (wines that have
made a round trip) became very popular. Madeira producers found that aging the wine on long sea
voyages was very costly and began to develop methods on the island to produce the same aged and heated
style - typically by storing the wines in special rooms known as estufas where the heat of island sun would
age the wine.

The 18th century was the "golden age" for Madeira with the wines popularity extending from the American
colonies and Brazil in the New World to Great Britain, Russia and Northern Africa. The American colonies,
in particular, were enthusiastic customers, consuming as much as a quarter of all wine produced on the
island each year. The mid 19th century brought an end to the industry's prosperity, first with the 1852
outbreak of powdery mildew which severely reduce production over the next three years. Just as the
industry was recovering through the use of the sulfur-based treatments, the phylloxera epidemic that had
plagued France and other European wine regions reached the island, and devastated the entire Madeira
vineyard. By the end of the 19th century, most of the island's vineyards had been uprooted and many were
converted to sugar cane production. By the turn of the 20th century, sales started to very slowly increase
again, only to again collapse when the Russian Revolution and American Prohibition closed off two of
Madeira's biggest markets.
Read more.
Some previously sold bottles of vintage Madeira:
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Madeira Terrantez 1715

Believed to be the oldest dated Madeira bottle in existence. From the Kassab
collection. Kassab seal, heavy black glass handblown Burgundy-style bottle, circa
1820. Believed bottled by João Carlos d'Aguiar, a highly reputed merchant that no
longer exists (although descendents of the family still live on the island). Braheem
Kassab was a Syrian embroidery merchant who put his personal seal, embossed B.A.
K. on the bottles he collected in the first decades of the 20th century. His collection
was partly dispersed in the 1930's, and the balance sold by Christies in the 1980's. All
recorded bottles are crudely stencilled like this one "TERRANTEZ / 1715 / J C A & C".
Excellent level for the age.

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Madeira Pather 1720

Really legendary wine, from the private cellars of the Borges family (not the company,
this is from the family's own private reserves). Apart from a few bottles of 1715
Terrantez, this is the oldest Madeira in existence. Probably a Moscatel, but might be
a Bual. Originally purchased by the grandfather of the Borges family (hence "Pather").
His wish was that it eventually forced the family to do so. Kept in demijohns for most
of its life. Several people have tasted it, and pronounced it superb.

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Madeira Moscatel 1795       

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Madeira Carvalha Sercial 1808

"Madeira Velhissimo".

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Madeira Torre Bella 1811

"Verdelho Caldeira-Camara de Lobos 1811".

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Madeira Malvasia Campanario 1833

"Reengarrafado em 1931".

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Madeira Campanario Reserve 1846

“Only 48 bottles in existence, this is bottle number 23
Bottled and shipped by Blandy’s Madeiras Lda. Funchal, Madeira
1 pint 9 fluid ozs
21% by volume
Produce of Portugal"

”This will serve to certify that this bottle contains a genuine Campanario Madeira of
the vintage 1846. It was acquired by us from D. Maria Favila Vieire, a partner of this
firm who inherited this wine from her family. Signed Director Blandy’s Madeiras,
Madeira.”

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Madeira Terrantez HMB 1862

HM Borges, the most legendary of all Terrantez bottlings!

This legendary wine almost certainly originated from a single grower, Joao
Alexandrino Santo, renowned for the quality of his grapes. HM Borges ("HMB") were
extremely important holders of old vintage wines. It would seem that a number of
shippers bought this particular wine from them in bottle - all have the same
distinctive stencil.

Profound nose, typical Terrantez notes of bitter orange, immense complexity, a
magical madeira.

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Madeira Painted Pipe 1790

Shipped by Newton Gordon Johnson. Sold via Habersham to Cornelius Vanderbilt in 1889.
Bottled for Mrs. Vanderbilt 1907 by Morten & Co June 1907.

William Neyle Habersham, born in 1817, was the greatest American madeira dealer and
expert of the 19th century, or perhaps more accurately, any century. He essentially single
handedly created the madeira market in the southern states of the USA. His palate was
legendary, it has perhaps never been equalled: he could drink any madeira blind and not only
name the year and varietal, but also precisely the vineyards from which the grapes came.  
Habersham madeiras were quite legendary in their day. He is believed to have originated the
name "Rainwater" for the madeira style a little sweeter than Sercial. He devoted most of the
rest of his life to selling his stocks (which had been hidden during the war) to the actual pipe
("Painted Pipe"). In March 1889 he sold some Painted Pipe and some Hurricane to Cornelius
Vanderbilt, then arguably the richest man in the US, through Ward McAllistair. In his memoirs
written the next year, McAllistair wrote..."The Old Man (ie Habersham) relied on his own
taste, which I know never fails, and the history of these wines I have been familiar with for
years. Painted Pipe was imported by Thomas Gibbons in 1791 from Newton, Gordon, Murdoch
and Scott, sold to him by Gibbons." Subsequent historical research has revealed a small error
in this account, the pipe was actually shipped in 1790, not 1791.
Leacock Madeira Sercial Vintage 1870
Leacock Malmsey Solera 1808
The Leacock Cache
4 bottles of Malmsey Solera 1808, renowned as the greatest Madeira solera of all time
5 bottles of Sercial Vintage 1870, the finest Sercial I have ever drunk, a quite magnificent wine

Superb Madeira from the private reserve of the Leacock family, uplifted directly from the cellars of the family
mansion in Funchal. The Leacock family has been synonymous with the finest Madeira since their business was
established on the Island in 1741 by John Leacock. Successive generations established the firm's pre-eminence,
alongside Blandys and Cossart Gordon, as one of the great merchants and bottlers on the island. These wines
were likely bottled for private consumption on the orders of Thomas Leacock, who took control in 1877. The firm
was finally sold to the Madeira Wine Company in 1981, and these bottles come directly from the family cellars of
William Leacock, the last head of the firm, and the great-grandson of Thomas Leacock.

Bual/Malmsey Solera 1808, Leacock bottling

1808 is one of the very greatest Madeira vintages, and the 1808 solera is legendary, regarded widely as the finest
ever. There is some uncertainty as to whether this solera should be classified as Bual or Malmsey - my own feeling
is that it's likely Malmsey. Michael Broadbent's notes are: "Medium deep, warm tawny, pronounced apple-green
rim indicating age and high quality; distinctive, scented, harmonious bouquet with a whiff of caramel, very
sweet, very rich, soft lovely flavour, 5 stars ***** These Madeiras have the finest possible provenance, coming
directly from the Leacock private family cellars in Funchal, they has never left the island until now.

Sercial Vintage 1870, Leacock bottling, original corks and capsules, not recorked as these wines usually are

1870 was one of the last two great vintages before phylloxera, and this is fantastic wine, certainly the finest
Sercial I have ever drunk, with unbelievable but perfectly balanced acidity, and a fantastic dry finish. It really
illustrates how long-lived Madeira is - even a dryer wine like this tastes as fresh as the day it was made, after
nearly a century and a half. Michael Broadbent's notes: "Pale amber with very pronounced apple-green rim, a
bouquet like Vesuvious, ethereal, whiff of caramel, medium dry, superb flavour, great length, exquisitely dry
finish, 5 stars *****.
Vintage Madeira: The 1792 Blandys Madeira, the so-called Napoleon vintage...when this wine was vintaged Marie Antoinette was still alive.
Vintage Madeira: The 1792 Blandys Madeira, the so-called Napoleon vintage...when this wine was vintaged Marie Antoinette was still alive.
The 1792 Blandy’s Madeira, the so-called “Napoleon” vintage
A unique cache of 12 bottles.

Vintage Madeira and the very fine old soleras are invariably rare, venerable and highly priced (although still
astonishingly cheap compared to similarly aged port, Bordeaux or Sauternes, none of which have anything like the
same longevity). Sustained both by fortification and by its high acidity, Madeira seems to be an almost
indestructible wine: a vintage of 30 years age still being in its infancy, one of 60 barely in its prime and almost all
vintages over 100 still alive and vigorous. 19th century vintage Madeira is increasingly scare and sought after,
but 18th century Madeira, now entering its third century, is most desirable of all. All eighteenth century vintage
Madeira is rare, but this Bual is arguably the most spectacular bottling of all. Only the 1790 Terrantez can
compare, but that, while just as rare, doesn’t have the same fascinating and romantic history.

On August 7, 1815, a British warship, the HMS Northumberland, taking Napoleon to St. Helena for his final exile
stopped at Madeira to take on supplies. Napoleon was persuaded to purchase a pipe of Madeira (A pipe is a barrel
containing a little less than 600 bottles). The pipe was never opened by Napoleon as he developed a severe
gastric complaint and his doctors forbade him to drink any alcohol. After the ex-Emperor’s death in 1821, there
was a dispute over payment of the pipe and it was returned to Madeira where it lay with Blandy’s until 1840. Most
of the wine  -  an estimated 400 bottles - was then used to make the famous solera of 1792, but some bottles -
perhaps 200 - were filled using only the wine from Napoleon’s pipe. These bottles are immensely rare, with only a
few still in existence – this cache of 12 is probably the largest holding extant anywhere. Occasionally bottles from
the 1792 solera come on to the market, but an opportunity to buy even a single bottle of the unadulterated
vintage 1792 wine is a very rare event indeed.

A bottle of this wine was opened as a special honour for Sir Winston Churchill on a visit to Madeira in 1950. Sir
Winston insisted on serving each guest himself, asking "Do you realise that when this wine was vintaged Marie
Antoinette was still alive?".

In 1792 the French revolution was reaching its climax – in August the Tuileres Palace was stormed and Louis XVI
arrested and taken into custody. In 1792 Mozart had been dead for less than a year and Rossini was born. George
Washington was President of the United States.

The bottles are in excellent original condition with very good levels - top shoulder or base of neck - but no longer
have any labels or stencilling at all. This is typical of this bottling in particular, and 18th century vintage Madeira
in general - those bottles that are found labelled usually have more modern labels applied afterwards, by Christies
amongst others. The bottles were purchased in the late 1980's by a senior and highly respected member of the
British wine trade, who personally vouches for their provenance as follows:

"These wines were personally removed by me many years ago from the cellars of Abbey Leix in Ireland, the then
home of Viscount de Vesci. I have seen the cellar records to confirm that the details are correct – 1792 Blandy’s
Madeira."

To the best of his knowledge the bottles were purchased by the de Vesci’s in the mid nineteenth century directly
from Blandy’s and never touched until he purchased them from the family over a decade ago. He's tasted one of
the bottles, and says it is absolutely superb, the finest Madeira he's ever drunk. Of course it's a pity there isn't a
trace of the original stencil or label still remaining, but this isn't at all unusual for bottles of this age. The
provenance - critically important for wines more than two centuries old - is extraordinarily well documented. The
bottles themselves are hand-blown black glass with deep punts, and quite clearly late 18th /early 19th century.
Madeira Terrantez C.V.M. 1795

Moscatel 1900
Madeira Terrantez HMB - Believed 1862

This legendary wine almost certainly originated from a single grower, Joao Alexandrino Santo,
renowned for the quality of his grapes. HM Borges ("HMB") were extremely important holders of
old vintage wines. It would seem that a number of shippers bought this particular wine from
them in bottle - all have the same distinctive stencil. So although this is not dated, it is almost
certainly the 1862. Profound nose, typical Terrantez notes of bitter orange, immense
complexity, a magical madeira.
Madeira Terrantez 1846

Famous vintage for Terrantez. Michael Broadbent: "Magnificent: orange tinged; the acme of
refinement yet amazingly powerful. What great madeira is all about."
Ruma da India 1810 Cunha

This wine has been shipped in cask to India and then returned to the Island for
eventual bottling. The firm of Julio Augusto Cunha was founded in 1820 and
incorporated into Pereira d'Oliveira (Vinhos) in 1900. Variety not stated, but almost
certainly bual or malmsey.

Direct from the personal cellar of descendants of the Araujo family, still living in
Madeira. Their ancestors arrived at the end of the fifteenth century. Later the firm
of Araujo, Henriques & Co., merged with H.M.Borges in 1932.
Madeira Sercial 1790

Virtually unknown, exceptionally rare. Direct from the personal cellar of
descendants of the Araujo family, still living in Madeira. Their ancestors arrived at
the end of the fifteenth century. Later the firm of Araujo, Henriques & Co.,
merged with H.M.Borges in 1932. The family still own vineyards at Quinta do
Jardim da Serra, at Estreito de Camara de Lobos, producing what are regarded as
the finest Sercial grapes on the island.

Sweeter than the typical late 19th century Sercial, immense complexity.
Madeira Malmesy 1920 Cossart Gordon

According to the late Noel Cossart, this wine was made from the last of the Malvazia Candida
grapes grown in the Fãja dos Padres vineyard, sited at the foot of a very high cliff, to which
access was only by boat. Probably the rarest and most romantic of all 20th century madeiras.
Madeira Malvasia Velha 1862

Quite magnificent, classic vintage malmsey from a very great year.
Madeira Solera 1792 Extra Reserve

Very rare, a famous wine. Perfect original label and Christie label, metal capsule. On a visit to
Blandy's lodge in 1877, this wine was offered to Henry Vizetelly to taste. He reported a "powerful
choice Reserve from Cama do Lobos".