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Blandy's Duke of Clarence Madeira 70cl

The Experience

Drink When...
Enjoying a happy accident
Listen To...
Accident by The Electric Eels
Think About...
Drink With...
Moist, alcoholic fruit cake

The Oddbins Take

We can thank the existence of this Portuguese sweetie to a very happy accident of history. Way back when, when merchants shipped their wares in wooden ships, the wine in the hold would often overheat, resulting in a delicious, caramelised wine. Winemakers have sought to recreate this effect by baking the wine ever since – and now Blandy’s have perfected the technique. This Madeira, made with the more unusual Tinta Negra Mole, is toffeed, ripe and nutty Madeira, with ample sweetness and a clean, tart finish. A most serendipitous wine indeed.

The Vital Statistics

At Its Best Now
Bottle Size
Regular - 750ml
Alcohol Units

In stock



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The Style

Tinta Negra Mole (100%)
Light Full bodied
Dry Sweet

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  • Blandy's Duke of Clarence Madeira
Blandy's Duke of Clarence Madeira

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Terry Kirby in The Independent, 5/4/15: "Chocolate can be the cruellest marriage with wine, deadening red or white at will. So try one of Europe's most underrated fortifieds: layered, luscious, but with enough acidity to cut through chocolate or any other sweet dessert. And a bottle will keep a long time."

It has long been said that John Blandy, the founder of the family business, arrived in Madeira in 1807 aged twenty-three as a quartermaster to General Beresford, commander of the British garrison. Yet prolonged research among army lists yielded no mention of a John Blandy serving in Madeira.

The truth was found instead by the Madeira wine lover and expert Emmanuel ‘Mannie’ Berk. In August 2006 he found a letter of introduction sent from London to Messrs Newton, Gordon, Murdoch, wine merchants in Madeira, which immediately solved the family mystery: ‘Sirs! At the desire of our particular friend, Richard Fuller Esq., Banker in this City, we beg leave to introduce Mr John Blandy who visits your Island on account of ill health, and wishes to obtain employment in a Counting House. We shall be obliged if you can promote his views, and accordingly recommend him to your attention.’ The letter is dated 23 December 1807, implying that John Blandy arrived in the island early in 1808 rather than with British forces some months before.

Using various quality vineyards grown at about 200m on the north of the island near São Vicente and on the south in Camara de Lobos. Blandy's Duke of Clarence underwent fermentation on the skins with natural yeast at between 24°C - 26°C in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks. After approximately 48 hours, fortification with grape brandy takes place, arresting fermentation at the desired degree of sweetness.

Blandy's Duke of Clarence was transferred to 'estufa' tanks where the wine underwent a cyclic heating and cooling process between 45°C and 50°C over a period of 3 months. After 'estufagem' the wine was aged for three years in American oak casks and then underwent racking and fining before the blend was assembled and bottled.

It is a superb accompaniment to dessert dishes, especially fruit, cakes, chocolate puddings and soft cheeses.