The Blandys are unique in being the only family of all the original founders of the Madeira wine trade to still own and manage their own original wine company; nearly 2 centuries of fine wine production, 1811 - 2003. The first Blandy to arrive on the island was John Blandy in 1807 at the age of 23. He was a quartermaster in General Beresford's army and was posted to Madeira to help defend the ... Read more
The Blandys are unique in being the only family of all the original founders of the Madeira wine trade to still own and manage their own original wine company; nearly 2 centuries of fine wine production, 1811 - 2003. The first Blandy to arrive on the island was John Blandy in 1807 at the age of 23. He was a quartermaster in General Beresford's army and was posted to Madeira to help defend the island from a possible attack by Napoleon. It was during this time that his interest in the Madeira wine trade grew, and after briefly returning to England in 1810 to marry Janet Burden, he finally settled on the island as a general trader in 1811. It was during the following years that the Blandy family became established on Madeira, not only through the wine trade, but also as managers and agents of ships and their cargo using Funchal as a port of call. John Blandy is also reputed to have made the first butter on the island at his Quinta de Santo Antonio da Serra in 1850, which he subsequently marketed in the local grocer's shop in Funchal. John Blandy's son Charles Ridpath Blandy, continued the business. During the disastrous oidium plague in 1852 it was he who had the foresight to buy up a great proportion of the stocks of old wine on the island, thus safeguarding his company's ability to continue selling fine Madeira. The Blandy family has played a leading role in the development of Madeira wine throughout its long history and in the economic development of this remote Atlantic Island. The family continues today to live on Madeira, maintaining a tradition that goes back to 1811. In 1925 Blandy's decided to join the Madeira Wine Association; a group of wine companies formed together to maximise global exposure and minimise overheads in a world where the export market was experiencing an all time low. Led by the Blandy family, this association managed to survive the bleak years whilst many individual companies fell by the wayside. In 1989 in order to further expand the global market, the Blandy's approached another Anglo-Portuguese family, the Symingtons of Oporto (Port producers since the 19th century) and offered them a partnership in the newly named Madeira Wine Company (MWC). Since 1989 sales of Blandy's Madeiras have more than doubled and Blandy's now enjoys a dominant position as the leading shipper of premium island-bottled Madeira. Blandy's remarkable record of sustained sales growth, with an average annual increase of 13% over the last five years, has spearheaded a strong revival in Madeira which has justly recovered its status as one of the world's great wines. In 1991, the entire Blandy's range of wines were presented with new and modern labels, this not only helped encourage new consumers to try these excellent wines but it also spurred other Madeira producers to up-date their own labels, helping Madeira to improve its image around the world. In 2000 the MWC again led the way with the introduction of a high quality but affordable Madeira of a single year (known as "Colheita" in Portuguese); "Blandy's Malmsey 1994 Harvest". This was the first dated Madeira ever launched other than the very expensive and rare Vintage Madeiras. Wine merchants and consumers in many countries welcomed this fresh new thinking for quality Madeiras. Since then many other Madeira producers have again followed the MWC lead by introducing younger dated wines, thus creating an important new category of premium Madeira. In July 2002, the MWC again launched a completely new style of Madeira with a radical presentation, "Blandy's Alvada". The wine is different to anything that has been produced before as it combines 2 noble grape varieties, Malmsey and Bual to arrive at a superbly balanced wine that combines the rich flavours of the Malmsey with the more complex and drier structure of the Bual. Once again the MWC has challenged the accepted wisdom. The company is again leading the way in the re-establishment of Madeira as one of the world's great wines. In 2007 the range has been completely redesigned with new labels and capsules. The distinctive split label and powerful Blandy’s logo have been retained and are now enhanced within a more contemporary, clean framework. The intention was to give the brand greater standout on shelf and a more premium appearance without abandoning the elements that have become widely recognized by Blandy’s customers. The packaging redesign could not come at a better time as Blandy’s enjoys growing prestige from consistently outstanding competition results and tasting reviews. Year after year Blandy’s wins the majority of medals and trophies awarded in the world’s most prestigious tasting events. In 2008, and for the third consecutive year, Blandy’s winemaker, Francisco Albuquerque, was awarded the coveted “Fortified Wine Maker of the Year” by the International Wine Challenge. In a repeat of the successes of the last two years, Blandy’s won the Madeira Trophy and four gold medals at the International Wine Challenge, two gold medals at the International Wine & Spirit Competition and the Madeira Trophy and Gold Medal at the Decanter Awards. Read less
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Food Pairings for Blandy's 5 Year Old Alvada Madeira
Wine Spectator: Tarry, slightly floral and earthy aroma with brown sugar and whiskey barrel flavors. Finishes ripe and spicy.