It might be said that the history of Henriques & Henriques is the history of Madeira itself. Legend has it that Infante Dom Henriques planted the island’s first vines in 1425. These vines gave fruit to one of the “first families of Madeira” and in the process sunk deep roots which Henriques’ descendants and successors continue to draw upon in guiding H&H today.
João Joaquim Gonçalves Henriques founded the firm in 1850 as a partidista, supplying wine to other merchants from extensive Henriques vineyard holdings while continuing to amass significant stocks of old wines in the family cellars. In 1925, Henriques & Henriques began to bottle and export Madeira produced entirely from their own vineyards-an anomaly amongst producers on the island. Today, Henriques & Henriques is led by CEO and winemaker Humberto Jardim, one of Madeira’s great visionaries and ambassadors. The firm continues to source some of its needs from its own vineyards, most notably from a terraced, 10-hectare vineyard at Quinta Grande-the single largest on island, replanted in 1995.
Sercial is a category in Madeira (the driest), as well as the name of the varietal. This particular bottling had me completely floored with hints of tangy caramel, cooked stone fruit and crunchy sea-salt on the finish. Perfect with a bowl of mixed nuts, a very slight chill and some good friends. Really incredible stuff here and very limited! -Tom Anderer GM & Spirits Director
The H&H Sercial Single Harvest 2001 is a colheita bottling: an early-bottled vintage wine. (H&H prefer to use the term “Single Harvest,” a rough translation of “Colheita.”) Bright and deep, this edition could easily be mistaken for Verdelho but for the saline/sea smoke signature of its Sercial fruit. More off-dry than dry, its caramelized apricot, tangerine and almond flavors mask impressive extract, the result of its extended time in canteiro. Enjoy as an aperitif or with fresh oysters and Oysters Rockefeller; sushi; grilled shrimp, swordfish and salmon; with grana-style, hard cheese (particularly domestic), olives and nuts.