H&H Sercial 15-Year nods firmly toward the vinous delights of garrafeira (vintage) madeira: its rigor, concentration and elegant dispatch. To quote Richard Mayson, author of “Madeira: The Islands and Their Wines”: “There is really no better introduction to fine madeira: mid-amber; powerful, incisive high-toned savoury aromas; quite rich in style for a Sercial with a hint of dried apricot, some gentle sweetness evident at first, a tang of tawny marmalade followed by a fine, dry, savoury finish.”
Palest and the driest of the classical madeira varieties, Sercial is known as ‘Esgano Cão’—‘dog strangler’—on the Portuguese mainland, a nod to its fiery, mouth-puckering acidity. At its best, racy and high-toned, it is a wine of exquisite tension: Sercial shows dry despite containing 20-60 g/l RS; its sweetness balanced by an exhilarating, mouthwatering tang of acidity. Pungent with dried orange, almonds and saline spices in youth, Sercial mellows in maturity: acidity less taut but no less integral; its deep nuttiness to the fore. There are currently just 16-ha found on the island.