Best Of The Best 2006: Amber Raves
John Leacock was only 15 years old when he began apprenticing for a Madeira shipping firm in 1741. By 1760, he was well prepared to establish his own business, producing wines that became a staple in the American colonies. In 1925, his company became part of the Madeira Wine Co., which now belongs to the Symington Group. Leacock’s 1966 Bual Madeira (Bual is the grape variety) is classified as a Frasqueira, a vintage Madeira; it spent 28 years in cask and was bottled in 1994. It has radiant amber color and tastes of pure, elegant fruit supported by toasty rancio, honey, and spice. The remarkable length of flavor never gives way to heaviness or sugary banality.