Made from Tinta Negra Mole grapes collected from multiple small, terraced vineyards that cling to the steep mountainous slopes of the island, this is a medium-dry wine combining soft fruit flavors with a dry, nutty quality. The grapes are fermented in stainless steel tanks until a neutral grape spirit brandy is added to stop the fermentation. Following fermentation, the wine undergoes a heating process, estufagem, where it is placed in cask in a special lodge or estufa where it will remain for at least three months. This heating process oxidizes the wine, giving it a very long shelf life and its characteristic nutty, rich flavors.
Leacocks 5 year old Tinta Negra was aged in American oak casks in the traditional 'Canteiro' system. This comprises of the gentle heating of the wine in the lofts of the lodges in Funchal. Over the years the wine is transferred from the top floors to the middle floors and eventually to the ground floor where it is cooler. After this gradual 'estufagem' the wine underwent racking and fining before the blend was assembled and bottled. Colour: deep chestnut with golden highlights. Nose: characteristic Madeira bouquet of dried fruits, toffee and nuts. Palate: rich and full-bodied Madeira with a complex, honeyed finish and beautifully balanced acidity.