Rare Wine Company "Historic Series - Charleston" Sercial Madeira

SKU #1069709 94 points John Gilman

Outer quote mark I really like the Rare Wine Company’s Charleston Sercial bottling, which is one of my favorites in their fine historic Madeira bottling series. This wine only has one percent residual sugar, which with Madeira’s inherent tangy acids, comes across as quite dry, but beautifully buffered. The bouquet is a first class blend of white cherries, oranges, a touch of nutskin, fresh nutmeg, smoky overtones and a lovely base of soil. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, pure and beautifully transparent, with a superb core, racy acids and stunning tension and purity on the superbly focused and very long finish. This is really a terrific bottle! Inner quote mark (1/2014)

93 points Wine Enthusiast

Outer quote mark The Historic Series are simply great Madeiras at reasonable prices. The Charleston Sercial is the driest of the collection, offering nutty aromas tinged with honey, caramel and maple syrup. Dried figs, honey and candied citrus flavors mark the palate, which is wonderfully smooth. The long finish features racy yet balanced acidity. *Editors' Choice* (JC) Inner quote mark (11/2006)

92 points Int'l Wine Cellar

Outer quote mark Medium amber. Gingerbread, orange zest, clove, blond tobacco and honey on the nose. Spicy citrus and poached pear flavors are lifted by zesty acidity and show a gentle smoky quality on the back end. Blends sweetness and dryness smoothly, finishing with good nervy cut, a jolt of fleur de sel and lingering smoke, citrus and spice notes. (JR) Inner quote mark (6/2011)

92 points Vinous

Outer quote mark The Madeira Charleston Sercial Special Reserve is a light-bodied, floral Maderia. Dried flowers, mint, cinnamon, pine, cedar and mint are nicely delineated. Vineyards at elevation yield grapes that are harvested late at relatively lower sugars, yielding a Madeira that is especially dry. There’s good complexity here. The Sercial is a fine choice for readers who appreciate the drier style of Madeira. (AG) Inner quote mark (11/2022)

91 points Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark The NV Charleston Sercial (Rare Wine Company) is also showing nicely, delivering scents of orange oil, dried white flowers, beeswax, walnuts and nutmeg. Medium to full-bodied, satiny and enveloping, it's bright and precise, with tangy acids cloaked in a fleshy core of fruit, concluding with a long, off-dry finish. This is the driest wine in the Rare Wine Company's historic series and the bottling that would best lend itself to pairing with savory dishes. (WK) Inner quote mark (10/2020)

91 points Wine Spectator

Outer quote mark Chamomile and Earl Grey tea notes accent the flavors of dried apple, tangerine and pineapple in this flinty style. Shows slight hints of matchstick, featuring a finish filled with citrus zest and plum sauce details. (KM) Inner quote mark (4/2016)

K&L Notes

These are the most affordable, representative examples of classic Madeira available. A collaboration between the importer and Barbeito's Ricardo Diogo Vasconcelos Freitas, the idea behind these bottlings is to capture some of the magic of vintage Madeira: the beautiful aromas, intensity of flavor and, most importantly, the acidity. Given the fact that 1.5 to 3 ounces is a sufficient pour, and that once opened, these simply will not go bad, these are among the best deals we have in the store for those looking for a truly unique addition to add to the cellar (as well as drinking rotation)! Sercial is the driest of the Madeira grapes. While there is still a hint of sweetness, as well as richness given the extended ageing and glycerine in the wine, the main characteristic is acidity, wonderful, jolting, intense acidity. While most desserts are out of the question with the Charleston Sercial, it still makes for a fine after-dinner wine or a wonderful foil to a variety of dinner dishes.

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Price: $55.99

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Product Reviews:

By: Mahon McGrath | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/27/2011 | Send Email
The dominant character here is a subdued toasted nuttiness, not specifically almond or walnut, with undercurrents of dried fruit. The palate is another thing altogether. This is one a wine that succeeds more on texture than nuance of flavor. While it is a sweet wine, it doesn’t put itself across the way a sauterne or even a sweet sherry would. It is as though you’d put the proverbial “spoon full of sugar” in your mouth-though for the purposes of this analogy we’d better make sure you’re visualizing raw sugar-and then sucked a fat wedge of lime. The tremendous acidity doesn’t just balance out the sweetness, but actually overcompensates for it, making it seem to finish much drier than it started and lip-smacking, too. Singular stuff. Works pretty nice with a slice of pumpkin pie and I’d wager you would get good mileage out of it with well-seasoned meaty bites, say dumplings of some sort.

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