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Terrantez is low-yielding, challenging to grow, and nearly extinct in Madeira, with only two hectares remaining on the island. This rare bottling shows off its fascinating flavors with the gift of time. The year it was harvested, the US toasted the 200th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence—a historical moment famously christened with Madeira.
Henriques & Hernriques 1976 Terrantez was aged for 29 years in the traditional canteiro method before being bottled in 2006. Terrantez is one of the most rare grapes on Madeira with just over 2 hectares planted on the island—1.3 ha of which are in H&H’s vineyard at Preçes, Ribeira de Caixa. The wines are made exclusively for garrafeira/frasqueira wines that range from meio seco to meio doce and boast autumnal flavors of smoked meat, honey seed cake, chestnut and tobacco leaf allied to debonair, rakish demeanor. “A beautiful baby! Dark amber hue with a yellow meniscus, highlighting a light and deftly balanced Terrantez at this early stage. The zesty acidity stands out prominently against the backdrop of some honeyed lemon and toasted almond nuances, but it all comes together on a seamless, nutty finish.
The history of Henriques & Henriques goes back to 1425, when, according to legend, Infante Dom Henriques planted the first vines on the island of Madeira. However, the firm Henriques & Henriques was founded in 1850 as a partidista — someone who buys stocks or makes their own wine and sells it to the larger shippers — from the family's vineyard holdings on the island. In 1925, H&H began to bottle and export Madeira made entirely from their own vineyards, something unique among producers and shippers. To this day, Henriques & Henriques own the largest single vineyard on the island — the 10-hectare Quinta Grande — and boast an impressive selection of vintage and solera bottlings dating from before 1925 in the family's cellars. Perhaps most important, H&H have been in the vanguard of vineyard plantings and preservation of the noble grapes of Madeira: Sercial, Verdelho, Boal and Malvasia. Their age-statement varietal wines are viewed as the benchmark of quality.