1834 Barbeito, Madeira Malvasia Reserva Velha
If we could all be so young. The 1834 has exactly the freshness and zing you'd expect from a fountain of youth. Its balance is as perfect as I could ever imagine for a fortified wine--still noticeably sweet and rich, but also very vibrant showing no alcohol or volatility. It's romantic and graceful, despite such natural intensity in fruit and acidity, as flavors calmly bleed into the long, silk-spinning finish. I hope to someday try the dessert it divines in my mouth: walnuts, pralines, maple, prunes, fresh figs, caramel hardening to a crisp--all covered, for some reason, in gold leaf.