ABOUT TINTA NEGRA
Formerly known as Tinta Negra Mole, Tinta Negra is by far the most widely planted grape on the island, accounting for more than 85% of the total hectares planted (485 ha). Long-prized by growers for its generous yields and adaptability to a wide array of growing conditions, and by winemakers for its chameleon-like expression, producing wines ranging from seco to doce. It forms the basis of all entry-level madeiras which undergo estufagem, but in recent decades winemakers have sought to explore and elevate this ‘workhorse grape’, and it was included in ‘Recommended Varieties’ (castas recomendadas) in 2015, for the first time permitting its name to appear on madeira labels. H&H (with several other producers) has been in the vanguard of its reassessment, producing three colheitas and the island’s first 50-Year Tinta Negra.
Firm and concentrated, Belém’s Madeira – Doce exhibits exceptional balance and complexity, its allusions to panforte, mocha, citrus oil, toasted almond and sea spray delineated and lifted by a bright, vibrant backbone of acidity—Madeira’s hallmark. At just 17% abv (compared to a more typical 19-20%), it is the best Madeira you can cook with, and the only one you can enjoy—with or without desserts—after your gastronomic labors of love are complete.
Belém’s Madeira – Doce is a sympathetic partner-in-crime to a variety of blue-veined cheeses and roasted nuts, foie gras and sweet Indian curries, and a versatile compliment to a wide variety of desserts: tarte tartin, crème brûlée and toffee pudding.
Established in 1932 by the last surviving member of the Henriques family — popularly known as “João de Belém” — Belém’s Madeira pays homage to the ancestral home of the Henriques family in Belém, Câmara de Lobos, the historic fishing village west of Funchal whose history is inextricably linked to the history of Madeira — the island and the wine. Today, Belém’s Madeira continues to be owned and produced by by Henriques & Henriques, one of the most esteemed and storied producers on the island.
ABOUT MADEIRA DOC
The archipelago of Madeira has long profited from its position in shipping lanes, from the 1500s, when ships under sail called at Funchal to pick up food and wine before the trade winds blew their ships west to the New World, to today, when cruise ships dock and world travelers sample the foods, crafts, and wines of the island. The Madeira DOC governs the fortified and heated-to-oxidation wines of the island, regulating the grapes, minimum age, and residual sugars of each category. While the Madeira laws give producers plenty of leeway in terms of blending and age statements, Henriques & Henriques’ blending approach is crystal clear—true minimum age statements and only monovarietal wines.
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