Barbeito is one of the most innovative and surprising producers of Madeira wine.
Soon after World War II, Mário Barbeito Vasconcelos decided to set up a Madeira wine company, which was a risky time for business ventures. Despite the odds, Vinhos Barbeito became a success, and now boasts a third generation running the family firm that opened its first wine shop in 1989, in the centre of Funchal, the island’s capital. Not long after, the company took on Japanese partners.
Ricardo Diogo Freitas, grandson of the founder and one of the company directors, is a dynamic and innovative businessman, celebrating 30 years in the business. He thinks nothing of getting amongst the casks to try the wines, as well as experimenting, introducing new products that enthuse wine lovers.
Recently, he has launched new vintages, as well as the Verdelho Reserva, which is now in its second year. The Madeira wines presented included Bastardo Duas Pipas Meio Seco; Single Harvest Tinta Negra 2008 Meio Seco; Malvasia 2005; Sercial 1993 Frasqueira; Verdelho 1995 Frasqueira and, lastly, Malvasia 50 anos O Japonês. The Verdelho Reserva white, which is the only table wine, raised a few eyebrows with its originality and quality. This Verdelho has a delicate and fresh bouquet, complemented with just 9% Sercial grapes. With citrus and tropical aromas, the palate offers a very original saltiness, which is common among wines made with grapes grown by the sea, some from the north (greater acidity) and others from the south of the island (riper). Ricardo promises to surprise us in the future. Based on what we’ve seen so far, who would doubt him.
by Maria João de Almeida
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