Broadbent 10-year-old Malmsey Madeira
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The non-vintage Broadbent Malmsey 10-Year-Old has a lucid auburn hue. The nose is light and elegant with hints of toffee, mandarin, and pressed flowers. The palate is smooth and sensual. It is extremely well-balanced with a graceful, spicy, almost peppery finish that demonstrates great persistency. This is an excellent Malmsey wine, surfeit with brio and hubris!
The Madeira regulations say that 10-years old is the age of the youngest part of the blend. So this richly sweet Malmsey contains many older wines. These are shown in the old gold color, the proper citrus acidity and the dryness that goes with wood aging. At the end, though, the liquid honey flavors are dominant.
By definition, Malmsey is the sweetest style of Madeira. Composed of Malvasia (from which the very British "Malmsey" nickname is derived), this is a quite particular and distinctive bottling of Malmsey different from the Blandy's 10 or others you might have tried. To cut to the chase, it is edgier, racier, drier. The legendary Michael Broadbent, one of the most famous tasters alive today, is responsible for blending this wine, and clearly he is someone who prefers a jolt of acidity in his madeiras, even the typically unctuous, sweet Malmsey. Due to a shorter three month estufagem (the heating process employed to make madeira), at lower temperatures, this wine is not quite as sweet but still has a wonderful sugar and acid balance. A nose hinting at a room of seasoned fortified wine barrels, brown sugar and grapefruit peel, leads to an elegant palate, one that is simultaneously sweet and lively. Enjoy it after a meal on its own, accompanied by cookies, fruit pies, even dark chocolate desserts would likely pair quite nicely.