The fortified wine collection

The fortified wine collection

A collection of authoritative books on the world’s top three fortified wines. In Port and the Douro, Richard Mayson details the different styles of port and explores the most significant producers – from big names to boutique makers. With vintage reports stretching back to 1896, Port and the Douro is an indispensable reference guide to one of the world’s greatest fortified wines. The sixth, fully revised and updated edition of Julian Jeffs’ Sherry explores the fascinating, turbulent history of the sherry region and details its wine production – from the planting of vines in the south of Andalusia and the complex stages of fermentation, ageing, and blending, to the moment it leaves the bottle. Richard Mayson also provides the third book in this set, Madeira: The islands and their wines. One of the most enthralling of the world’s wines as well as the most resilient, Madeira is currently experiencing a renaissance. Here, Mayson uses his considerable experience of fortified wines to explain Madeira’s magic.

Softcover Book
 

Price: $83.50

Series information

Sherry

Fully revised and updated for its sixth edition, this benchmark book recounts the exciting and turbulent evolution of the sherry region and explores how its history and culture are intertwined with the sherry trade. Julian Jeffs chronicles the changing face of sherry – its viticultural methods, the complex production techniques, the growth of the wine’s trade and the region itself – taking us from the area’s early Phoenician settlers right up to the present day. The detailed sections on cultivation and production include information on both traditional and the now more commonly used modern methods of viticulture. Manzanilla, the “wine of joy”, receives an entire chapter to itself before Jeffs brings the information on blending and tasting sherry up to date. He also provides extensive details of all the shippers, from the traditional family firms to the new boutique bodegas, along with thorough appendices for those who wish to delve into the fine details. This classic wine book unravels the timeless appeal of one of Spain’s greatest wines, making it an essential resource for both sherry enthusiasts and those involved in the world of sherry.

Madeira

Madeira wine is currently experiencing a renaissance. It is a wine that behaves like almost no other. Heat and air, the sworn enemies of most wines and winemakers, conspire to turn madeira into one of the most enthralling of the world’s wines as well as the most resilient. Madeira wines from the nineteenth and even the eighteenth centuries still retain an ethereal, youthful gloss. Once the cork is removed, the wine comes to no harm, even if the bottle is left open and on ullage for months on end. If ever there was a wine to take to a desert island, this is it.

Although Madeira was only discovered in the fifteenth century, the island and the wine trade have a long and involved history. After a short historical introduction Madeira: The islands and their wines rounds on the present: the physical character of the archipelago, the state of the vines and vineyards and the way in which the wines are made. A guide to the current producers follows along with a detailed appraisal of their range of wines. There is also a chapter for collectors of older wines, many from shippers that no longer exist but whose names live on in bottles of wine that are still found in cellars all over the world. Wines dating as far back as the eighteenth century are featured in the book, along with quality appraisals.

Madeira is without doubt one of the most difficult wines to describe but it is certainly the most uplifting. There is a short section on the language of tasting madeira as well as information on buying, keeping and serving the wines. The book concludes with a travel guide for anyone visiting the islands. This unique book on the islands and their wines explains what it is that makes madeira so special. Madeira: The islands and their wines was shortlisted for the André Simon Food and Drink Awards 2015.

Port and the Douro front cover Port and the Douro

Richard Mayson’s award-winning Port and the Douro, first published in 1999, has become a classic over the last 20 years. In this comprehensively updated fourth edition he reminds us why Port is a drink that continues to fascinate wine-lovers and win new fans.

The last 45 years, since the end of the dictatorship in 1974, have seen vast transformations in the Port world, from labour-saving technology in field and cellar, to advances in sales reach, especially since Portugal’s formal entry into the EU in 1986, and ongoing changes in the way the industry is managed and regulated.

To begin with, Mayson provides a history of Port, from the beginnings of viticulture in Roman times to the present day. The vineyards and their vines as well as the quintas where they are cultivated are thoroughly explored, followed by an explanation of Port production, both traditional and modern. A short introduction to Port types prepares the reader for a detailed assessment of vintages from 1960–2017, some of which have been tasted afresh for this edition; notable vintages (both exceptional and poor) dating back as far as 1844 are also included. The structure of the Port trade remains in flux, and so the chapter on the shippers reflects recent changes in fortune and ownership. Douro wine, which pre-dates its fortified cousin and has seen its revival accelerate over the last 20 years, receives an entire chapter to itself. Finally, for those wishing to visit the region, there are some ideas on what to do and where to stay.

Peppered throughout with anecdotes, potted biographies of those who shaped the industry and insights into quirks of the trade, this extensive and engaging guide to Port is an essential book for any wine enthusiast’s library.

A collection of authoritative books on the world’s top three fortified wines. In Port and the Douro, Richard Mayson details the different styles of port and explores the most significant producers – from big names to boutique makers. With vintage reports stretching back to 1896, Port and the Douro is an indispensable reference guide to one of the world’s greatest fortified wines. The sixth, fully revised and updated edition of Julian Jeffs’ Sherry explores the fascinating, turbulent history of the sherry region and details its wine production – from the planting of vines in the south of Andalusia and the complex stages of fermentation, ageing, and blending, to the moment it leaves the bottle. Richard Mayson also provides the third book in this set, Madeira: The islands and their wines. One of the most enthralling of the world’s wines as well as the most resilient, Madeira is currently experiencing a renaissance. Here, Mayson uses his considerable experience of fortified wines to explain Madeira’s magic.

Details Books
Julian Jeffs

Julian Jeffs is the world’s leading authority on sherry and has written several books on Spanish wine. After leaving Cambridge Julian Jeffs got a job (by accident) in the sherry trade in Jerez, working in a bodega and seeing every stage in the production of wine. Called to the Bar in 1958 he took two years off to write the first edition of this book. He also wrote two more books on wine and others on law. A past President of the Circle of Wine Writers, he was General Editor of Faber Wine Books.

Sherry
Richard Mayson

Richard Mayson is an award-winning wine writer and an authority on Portuguese wine. A lecturer and consultant, he writes for Decanter, Wine International and The World of Fine Wine and is a contributor to the Oxford Companion to Wine and Larousse Encyclopaedia of Wine.  In 2015, he was the recipient of the Louis Roederer International Wine Feature Writer of the Year award.  His books include Portugal’s Wine and Winemakers and The Wines and Vineyards of Portugal. He is Chair of the Decanter World Wine Awards for Port and Madeira Wine and the owner of a vineyard in the Alto Alentejo region.

Madeira, Port and the Douro