2022 Listrão dos Profetas Vinho do P. Santo

The 2022 Listrão dos Profetas Vinho do P. Santo redefines Madeiran wine, proving the island’s offerings surpass the traditional sweet profile. This dry white wine, borne of ancient vines and innovative winemaking, invites connoisseurs to explore Madeira’s diverse and surprising viticulture, challenging stereotypes and revealing a nuanced palate that celebrates the island’s rich yet evolving winemaking heritage, and that’s why the 2022 Listrão dos Profetas Vinho do P. Santo is today’s WineSiders Wine of the Day.

When one thinks of Madeiran wine, the immediate association is often with its famed sweet, fortified offerings, a staple in the world of fine dining, and a historic favorite that has warmed many a parlor with its rich, caramel notes. However, the winds of change are gusting through the vineyards of this storied island, carrying with them a revelation in the form of wines like the Listrão dos Profetas – a wine that challenges the very stereotype of Madeira’s sweet-only viniculture.

Upon first glance, the bottle of Listrão dos Profetas Vinho do P. Santo speaks to a heritage deeply rooted in Madeira’s winemaking tradition, yet it hints at innovation. The collaboration of winemakers António Maçanita and local restauranteur Nuno Faria is a testament to the progressive exploration of an ancient terroir. It’s an exploration that has unearthed a different kind of treasure from the volcanic soils and oceanic climate: a dry white wine that stands in bold contrast to the sweet stereotype.

When you look at the wine, it first presents a luminous straw-yellow hue, suggesting a youthful vigor. It clings to the glass with a graceful viscosity upon swirling, hinting at its textured complexity. The initial aromatic bouquet hits you with sea spray and fresh citrus zest, an ode to the wine’s Atlantic lineage. As it opens, there’s the emergence of delicate white flowers, underpinned by a subtle herbaceousness reminiscent of the green, verdant landscapes of Madeira. A whisper of volcanic minerality lingers in the background, providing an earthy counterpoint to the wine’s freshness.

On the palate, the wine defies expectations with a dry, crisp flavor, making this ideal for sushi, spicy Asian cuisine, or shellfish of all kinds. It carries the salinity of its coastal terroir into a symphony of flavors where green apple and pear dance with racy, tangy lemon acidity. The mid-palate unfolds with a gentle almond nuttiness, a vestige of the island’s varied flora. There is depth here, a structure that speaks to the Listrão grape’s resilience, supported by a backbone of minerality that echoes the volcanic soils from which it springs.

The finish is persistent, leaving a trail of nuanced flavors that invite contemplation. There’s a drying sensation akin to the touch of a sea breeze on the skin, coupled with a refreshing acidity that beckons another sip. It’s in this lingering aftertaste that one truly appreciates the wine’s complexity and the deft craftsmanship of its makers.

This 2022 vintage of Listrão dos Profetas Vinho do P. Santo, its second, is a testament to the diversification of Madeira’s viticulture. It’s a wine that commands attention, not through overt power, but through an elegant display of balance and terroir-driven character. It’s an exemplar for dry Madeiran whites, a category that is all too often overshadowed by the island’s famed fortified wines.

The Listrão, a variety resilient and enduring as the islanders themselves, is cultivated in vineyards that whisper tales of survival and resistance. The dazzling white wine is a product of grapevines that have witnessed centuries pass, a wine that is ‘protected from the ocean fog and more wind than it likes’ – an embodiment of Madeira’s dynamic environment.

This wine is not merely a drink but a narrative in liquid form. It carries within it the story of a region’s evolution, from the early days of discovery by Portuguese sailors to the present, where modern vintners like Maçanita and Faria are redefining what Madeira wine can be. This wine is a testament to the fact that the island’s viticulture is as multifaceted as its landscape, producing wines that can surprise even the most seasoned aficionados with their complexity and variety.

Breaking away from the traditional image of Madeira, the Listrão dos Profetas is a clarion call to all wine lovers to reassess their perceptions. It reminds us that Madeira’s wine identity is not monolithic but is as diverse and surprising as the island’s history of explorers and conquerors. 

This dry white wine, with its unique terroir expression and the story of its creation, is a beacon for the curious and the adventurous. It is an entry to explore beyond the well-trodden path of the sweet and into the nuanced and the profound. For those with a palate attuned to the subtleties of wine, the 2022 Listrão dos Profetas is not just a divergence from the expected; it is a revelation. It is proof that Madeira, much like its wines, cannot be confined to a single category but must be experienced in all its varied and delightful expressions.

Moreover, the 2022 Listrão dos Profetas is not just a wine; it’s a narrative of resilience, a proof of innovation, and a challenge to preconceived notions. It’s an invitation to rediscover Madeira through a different lens, one that appreciates the full spectrum of its vinous potential. It’s a reminder that even in a place steeped in tradition, there’s always room for something new, something unexpected, something that can change perceptions one sip at a time.

And that’s why the 2022 Listrão dos Profetas Vinho do P. Santo is today’s WineSiders Wine of the Day.