RWC Historic Series 'Savannah' Verdelho, Madeira DOC

RWC Historic Series 'Savannah' Verdelho, Madeira DOC

Item Number: 3735

UPC: 0-828116000635

Country: Portugal
Region: Madeira
Sub Region: Madeira
Appellation/AVA: Madeira DOC
Estate Grown Wine: No
Grape(s): 85% Verdelho / 15% Tinto Negra Mole
Type: Wine - Fortified
Bottle Size: 750 ml
Pack: 12
Closure: Cork
Alc by Vol(%): 19.5
Soil Type: Volcanic, on steep, terraced hillsides.

History: The RWC Historic Series represents a close collaboration between The Rare Wine Co. and Vinhos Barbeito. First conceived in 1998, the goal from the beginning was to produce a series of affordable varietal Madeiras that possess the magical qualities of great Vintage Madeira. The difficulty of such a task was great, and, in fact, it took four years to perfect the blends. But finally in 2002, the first two wines in the series— New York Malmsey and Boston Bual—were released. And in 2004, the third in the series, Charleston Sercial, was released. The market reception has been extraordinary. Each wine is named for an American seaport where Madeira was popular in the 18th and 19th centuries. The labels feature early engravings and historic information, further evoking a sense of Madeira's towering importance in American history.

Vineyard Information: A range of historic sites along the island's coast. Each wine is made up 85% of the stated varietal, selected from parcels of wine 10 to 20 years old. The remaining 15% is very old Tinta Negro Mole, 40 to 60 years of age, which gives the wines much of their aged vintage character.

Oak Aging: The critical process for making great Madeira is extended aging in wood. Most young blends achieve most of their character by heating over a few months in large vats. The RWC wines have spent years or decades in large barrels of various sizes. This time is what gives them their unique personalities.

'Savannah' Verdelho Tasting Notes: The Savannah Verdelho finds the perfect harmony between sweetness, acidity, and intensity. With its strong personality and balance, it may be the most versatile of this series for pairing with savory dishes.


  • The Wine Advocate
    Rating: 90 (4/1/2010)

    From 10-year old reserves, this has a deep amber color with green tints on the edge. A toffee-scented aroma, well defined with walnut oil, sesame, smoke and dried honey. Quite tight, although it loosens up with time. The palate is medium-bodied with a viscous entry, very well balanced with good acidity, nicely judged oxidative honeyed fruit, although not a complex Verdelho. But one has to admire its power and intensity, whilst maintaining great composure towards the finish. Very fine. -Neal Martin's Wine Journal
  • International Wine Cellar
    Rating: 93 (6/1/2011)

    Medium amber with a green rim. Aromas of burnt orange, tobacco, toffee and herbs, with a hint of potpourri adding an exotic component. Broader and deeper than the Charleston, offering sappy orange marmalade, chestnut honey and toffee flavors underscored by tangy acidity. Shows a sweet, nutty quality on the smoky, gently spicy finish. I like this wine's heft and thrust
  • The Wine Advocate
    Rating: 88 (8/31/2012)

    The non-vintage RWC Savannah Verdelho is noticeably deep in color and offers scents of creme brulee, dried honey and a touch of treacle on the nose. The palate is medium-bodied with a smooth, slightly viscous entry. The front of the mouth receives walnut, spice and white pepper notes. The sweetness seems “peripheral” with burnt toffee, honey and marmalade. It is very sedate and refined on the finish, although I would have preferred a little more length. 
  • John Gilman View from the Cellar
    Rating: 93 (3/1/2014)

    This is probably the most “historic” of the series, as according to Mannie Berk, as the vast, vast majority of Madeira consumed here in the US in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were Verdelhos. This wine offers up a really lovely and quite high-toned nose of orange peel, spice cake, woodsmoke, a lovely base of soil nuances and a nice dollop of herbal tones redolent of celery seed in the upper register. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, racy and very complex, with a lovely signature of soil, impeccable focus and balance and a very long, poised and tangy finish. This has around two percent of residual sugar to it, which is pretty much all eaten up by the fine acidity here, so that the overall impression is a well-buffered, but essentially dry wine. Impressive. 2010-2050+.
  • The Wine Spectator
    Rating: 92 (4/30/2016)

    Offers a powerful aroma of marzipan and dried tropical fruits, with flavors to match. Shows muscular acidity and plenty of barbecue smoke notes. Vanilla and white chocolate details emerge on the grippy, complex finish, revealing buttery accents. Drink now through 2040.
  • The Wine Advocate
    Rating: 93 (10/15/2020)

    The NV Savannah Verdhelo Special Reserve (Rare Wine Company) is lovely, wafting from the glass with inviting aromas of fruitcake, warm spices, bitter orange, blanched almonds and dried flowers. Full-bodied, satiny and enveloping, with racy acids, a fleshy core of fruit, nicely integrated sweetness and an off-dry finish, it concludes with a penetrating and mouthwateringly saline finish.