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Busy with research

Madeira. Funchal from the East. c. 1860. ONB [1]

I apologize for the long silence but I have spent the last few weeks deep in Madeira research.  I hope to return to my regular posting within a week.  Until this enjoy this image of Funchal, Madeira from the east.


[1] Madeira. Funchal from the east. c 1860. ÖNB Map Collection and Globe Museum. URL: http://data.onb.ac.at/rec/baa7964695

William Coombe’s “The manner of drawing pipes of wine on a sledge” from 1821

February 2, 2018 Leave a comment

“The manner of drawing pipes of wine on a sledge” [1]

The image in this post is one of 27 from William Coombe’s book A history of Madeira (1821).  I selected the image because the pipe is branded “N G M” for Newton, Gordon, and Murdoch.  William Coombe (1741-1823) is a writer famous for his Dr. Syntax series of verse illustrated by Thomas Rowlandson.  This familiarity with satire perhaps explains the soft, somewhat jovial facial expressions common in the Madeira illustrations and certainly explains the accompanying verse.

Coombe first comments that the oxen pulling the sledges are “a very beautiful race of animals” with the additional  benefit that “the meat is excellent”.  Or from his own verse:

And now it is the oxen’s task,
To drag along the liquid cask,
Filled with the juice that aids the treat
When they’re cut up, and turned to meat.


[1] “The manner of drawing pipes on a sledge” from William Coombe’s A history of Madeira (1821). Bayerische Staatsbibliothek URL: http://daten.digitale-sammlungen.de/~db/0010/bsb00103983/images/

The title woodcut from Georg Horn’s “Hierampelos” (1585)

February 1, 2018 Leave a comment

Title illustration from Georg Horn’s Hierampelos. 1585. [1]

This image is from the title woodcut of Georg Horn’s Hierampelos.  In this book Horn (1542-1603), a pastor from Hammelburg, writes about viticulture, wine making, and references to the Bible.  Compared to the woodcuts I have posted from other 16th century German wine books this one illustrates the tending of vines, harvesting of fruit, and wine making.  As it is not a cellar-book barrels are not included.


[1] Horn, Georg. Hierampelos : Das ist: Bericht vom Wein-baw, das er mit all seinen angehörigen und verwandten stücken in heiliger Göttlicher Schrifft, wol bekandt. 1585.
Signatur: 1042089 4 Oecon. 191 m 1042089 4 Oecon. 191 m. Bayerische StaatsBibliothek digital.  URL: http://www.mdz-nbn-resolving.de/urn/resolver.pl?urn=urn:nbn:de:bvb:12-bsb10990117-2

Images from Dirck Pietersz. Pers “Bachus wonder-werken” (1628)

January 31, 2018 Leave a comment

The three images in this post come from Dirck Pietersz. Pers’ Bachus wonder-werken Vaer in het recht gebruyck en misbryck des Wyns (1628).  In this book, Dirck Pietersz. Pers (1581 – 1659) recounts that wine drives away sadness, worries, and pain but the central point is that it must be taken in moderation. [0]

“There sat a proud lion, who wanted to feed all the people he ruled over, and kingly areas, all the sweet mistress and all the fears” [1]

“the smoke was unprecedented” [1]

“keeps my drunkenness alive” [1]


[0] Dirck Pietersz. Pers. Digitale bibliotheek voor de Nederlandse letteren. URL: http://www.dbnl.org/auteurs/auteur.php?id=pers001

[1] Pers, Dirk. “Bachus wonder-werken”. 1628. Osterreichische Nationalbibliothek. URL: https://search.onb.ac.at/primo_library/libweb/action/dlDisplay.do?vid=ONB&docId=ONB_alma21317115100003338&fn=permalink

Historic Wells Liquors wine lists 1980-1981

January 26, 2018 Leave a comment

As I work on my wines of the year post I started going through old notes. I thought it would be fun to post some price lists/tasting sheets from my earliest days in wine as an eager 18 year old at Wells Liquors in Baltimore. These price lists represent 1980-1981 I believe. There are only notes attached to one. For that Cali cab tasting it looks like my favorite was the 1976 Mondavi Reserve. The price was really high for California then at $21. I note that I gave that wine 90 points, which was a big deal in those days before more consistent winemaking and lots of “grade inflation.” I also see that the “mystery wine” in this blind tasting was the second wine of Pichon Lalande (1978 probably) and just $8.

Lou

“The Lagar or Wine Press” a Madeira wine making scene from 1834

January 18, 2018 1 comment

“The Lagar or Wine Press” from Recollections of Madeira. ca 1834. BNP. [1]


[1] –  Pitt-Springett, William Samuel. Recollections of Madeira. ca 1834. Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal. URL: http://purl.pt/24029

The 1869 Lomelino, Boal first sold in 1882

January 18, 2018 Leave a comment

The 1869 Lomelino, Boal. Picture taken by Eric Ifune at the Beauty of Bual Tasting (2014).

The global Great Depression and international financial crisis led to difficult years for many Madeira shippers during the early 20th century.  In 1925 Leacock joined forces with Blandy’s to form the Madeira Wine Association (MWA).  Over the next several decades every major Madeira shipper joined the MWA.  Under the MWA management was centralized.  Members continued to sell under their own labels but old stocks of Madeira were brought together for use by all and new vintages were bought collectively.  Thus a shipper’s name could act simply as a brand with the wine itself having come from another member firm.  A recurring question for consumers of old MWA labels then is which firm was the source of the Madeira in the bottle?

The question arose at The Beauty of Bual Tasting (2014) with regards to the 1869 Lomelino, Boal.  Lomelino joined the MWA where its name was eventually used as a brand beginning in the 1930s.  As a result it was suspected that the 1869 Lomelino, Boal served at the tasting did not contain actual Lomelino wine. Just two other 1869 Boal wines are listed in Noel Cossart’s Madeira the Island Vineyard (2011) the Blandy’s and an unknown producer.  The vast majority of the bottles sold appear under the Blandy’s name.

We may never know the actual source of these wines but we now know that beginning in 1882, Lomelino sold an 1869 Boal from Campanario.  We know this because Commander Tarquinio T. da C. Lomelina advertised his wines in the French periodical Revue de Vins et Liquors from 1880 through 1892.[1] Whether the bottle tasted in 2014 is the same wine as that sold 125 years earlier remains a mystery but the possibility exists!

Here is the wine list from 1882, in descending cost, including the prices in French Francs per dozen bottles ex Madeira.

1821 Sancto Martinho 350
1821 Campanario 350
1821 Camara de Lobos 350
1835 Campanario, Malvasia 269
1838 Campanario, Malvasia 230
1838 Campanario, Boal 230
1844 Sancto Martinho 140
1844 Camara de Lobos 140
1848 Campanario, Boal 115
1847 Campanario, Malvasia 115
1848 Camara de Lobos 115
1848 Sancto Martinho 115
1850 Campanario Boal 80
1850 Sancto Martinho 80
1850 Camara de Lobos, Malvasia 80
1865 Camara de Lobos, Boal 70
1870 Monte, Moscatel 70
1851 Campanario, Sercial 70
1851 Sancto Martinho 70
1869 Campanario, Boal 55
1872 Campanario, Malvasia 55
1868 Sancto Martinho 55
1868 Camara de Lobos 55
1870 Quinta da Paz 50
1870 Sancto Martinho 50
1871 Sancto Martinho 45
1871 Quinta da Paz 45
1873 Santo Roque 40
1873 Campanario 40
1876 Camara de Lobos 35
1877 Sancto Antonio 30


[1] Revue des vins et liqueurs et des produits alimentaires pour l’exportation. 1882. URL: http://catalogue.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/cb410434488