Haak Vineyards & Winery in Santa Fe, Texas has long been growing Blanc du Bois grapes and making still wines, as well as Madeira style wines with said grapes. Blanc du Bois has struggled with identity issues in the past and even I was very guilty not too long ago of judging the hybrid grape too harshly. I procured and enjoyed a bottle of the Haak Winery Lenoir (Thomas Jefferson series) Madeira around the holidays and I was utterly impressed. I actually felt it went toe to toe with traditional Madeira I had at TEXSOM in 2014. This time around, I am drinking the 2010 Blanc du Bois version of the Madeira from Haak. Here is my review.
The bottle itself is the typical squatty dessert style type that you would find from Portugal and Madeira. Once the mini cork was pulled from its nook, it was poured into a fine crystal wine glass. The color is yellow/straw, and has the telltale look of having been baked, which is how Haak makes their Madeira wines, using the traditional Estufagem process. The nose is heavenly for me, as Madeira is my dessert wine of choice, and I can always differentiate the difference between a fortified and a baked-fortified as soon as my nose gets the very first whiff. Nuances of butterscotch and cedar box bounced around in my nostrils. The palate is near identical, although I detected a faint hint of candied caramel apples on my ever so pleased taste buds.
- Haak Vineyards & Winery Blanc du Bois Madeira, 2010 vintage
- Winemaker: Marta Lastowska
- Appellation: Texas Gulf Coast, Haak Vineyards
- Grape varieties: Blanc du Bois
- Barrels: Baked slowly at high temperatures for several months in oak barrels.
- Clarity/Brightness: Clear/dull with no detectable flaws and no evidence of gas or sediment
- Tannins: N/A
- Acidity: Medium
- Alcohol: High
- Finish: Long
- Alcohol by volume: 18.0%
- Retail price: $40.00
All in all, this wine is a well-made dessert wine that will accompany a plethora of dessert foods. My suggestion would be a fresh baked brownie, topped with Madeira drizzled over vanilla ice cream. Crème brûlée would also be a great companion for this wine.
Sip, savor, and enjoy my fellow aficionados.