The 1928 Sercial is reticent on the nose at first, but unfurls nicely with aeration to offer enticing scents of honeycomb, mandarin, Seville orange marmalade and pressed dried flowers with fine delineation. The palate is medium-bodied with tangy, spicy notes on the entry: dried honey, bitter orange peel, a Tokaji-like oxidation that manifests itself as hazelnut and white pepper on the finish. This is a very impressive Sercial that is just beginning to motor. It was in 1850 that Joao Pereira d’Oliveira founded his company. He initially sold wines to other shippers, and it was not until the 1970s that they began to sell Madeira wines under their own label (though they continued to sell and buy lots, to and from other shippers.) It is a small company, but there are plentiful stocks of reserve wines. Their policy is to bottle on demand, which means their vintage wines can invariably benefit from extended cask aging. Let us begin with their reserve wines, which are mainly Tinta Negra Mole and are matured under estufugem.
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