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In a nutshell: A complex, fresh and wonderfully persistent aged Madeira from a small but highly respected shipper.
The lowdown: One thing that marks out Maderia wines is that they undergo a unique maturation process where they are naturally heated over a period of months to build concentration and consistency before being cooled prior to maturation. Ageing for a full 15 years to allows it to develop a complex range of layers and textures that mark it out as a most distinctive fortified wine. In the Dry blend a selection of traditional Maderia grape varieties headed up by Sercial giving a result that's pale golden in colour and with a real nutty character and dried fruit and bright citrus flavours. The orange peel notes and slight smokiness towards the finish make it wonderfully fresh and inviting.
When to drink: A luxurious aperitif; serve it chilled and it'll also go well alongside oysters and savoury canapés.
Based in the island's capital Funchal, Pereira d'Oliveira is one of the great old Madeira houses and dates back to 1820 when it was founded by Joao Pereira d'Oilvera. Today it is run by fifth generation descendents Anibal, Luis and Felipe d'Oliveira.
They are one of the few houses to survive from the pre-phylloxera period and have mainited a stock of old and rare wines dating well back into the 1800s. These are left to mature slowly in 600 litre pipes and are bottled to order when required.
With two centuries of accumulated experience of wine making their aim is to produce wines of exceptional balance that characterised by aromatic complexity while remaining fresh and well textured.