Justino's Madeira

Madeira, madeira Portugal

Despite being one of the oldest Madeira producers, with a history dating back to 1870, Justino’s is one of the most dynamic producers in Madeira today. They source fruit from all over the island, selecting the best sites and vineyards for the different grape varieties. Traditionally, varieties like Sercial were grown in the cooler north, while Malvasia and Boal were planted in the warmer south. Today, site selection and improvements in viticulture allow for Sercial to be grown in the south and Malvasia in the north.

Justino’s new winery, located in Cancela, Santa Cruz, was built in 1995. All of the Madeiras are fermented in temperature-controlled, stainless-steel tanks to ensure pristine base wines. Fermentation is abbreviated by the addition of 96% ABV neutral grape spirit at the ideal moment, depending on the desired level of sweetness for each Madeira. All of Justino’s wines, apart from the 5-Year-Old Fine Rich Reserve, which undergoes the ‘estufagem’ heating process, undergo the ‘canteiro’ ageing process and are stored in barrels in the eaves of the Justino’s lodge, where they are gently heated by the sun over extended periods of time.

The Justino’s range showcases the quality and diversity that Madeira can offer. Of the wines made from Tinta Negra, their 5-Year-Old Fine Rich Reserve is fantastic value, with a level of quality far surpassing its price. The 1999 Colheita – a Tinta Negra from a single vintage – demonstrates the age-worthiness, complexity and balance that this variety is capable of achieving. Their Madeiras made from the noble grapes – Sercial, Boal, Malvasia and Terrantez – are a study in the diversity of Madeira, from the relatively dry, crisp styles to those which are more nutty, rich and full.

We are privileged to have a small amount of the IWC 2020 ‘Champion of Champions’ Trophy-winning 1978 Terrantez – a staggeringly complex wine with intense aromas of salted caramel, citrus peel, chopped nuts and honeycomb, balanced by a lovely zinginess. The 50-Year-Old Terrantez is a DWWA ‘Best in Show’ Winner; rich but refreshing, powerful yet elegant, it illustrates that Terrantez – though nearly extinct, with only around two hectares in existence today – is perhaps the finest noble Madeira grape of them all.

As testament to their commitment to quality and their high number of medal-winning wines, the Sommelier Wine Awards named Justino’s their Fortified Producer of the Year in 2015. We can‘t agree more with what they had to say: "It’s hard to remember the last time one producer so dominated a single category as Justino’s did with Madeira. Whatever the grape, and whatever the style, it was imperious".

 

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Wines

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