In late 18th-century America, Madeira was synonymous with affluence and high social status. But while ordinary Madeiras went straight from the barrel into a decanter, the finest wines were bottled to be passed on to the next generation.
For these legacies, a small number of wealthy collectors commissioned hand-blown bottles bearing their personal seal. Unfortunately, few of these "sealed" bottles have survived. According to a 2014 study, there are remains of only 651 sealed bottles in U.S. East Coast archaeological collections.
The New York merchant Robert Lenox was among those who had his own sealed bottles, and a number of them have survived in private collections, still with Madeira in them. Inspired by their beauty, in 2017 we decided to recreate Lenox’s bottles, to contain an extraordinary new Madeira made by Barbeito's Ricardo Freitas.
For this exacting and painstaking work, we commissioned the foremost artisans of ancient hand-blown glass in England, Mark Taylor and David Hill, whose work graces countless historical dramas on television and in film.
On one of the first few days of production, we were there to film Mark and David's work. That video follows. We apologize in advance that the noise of the furnaces made it difficult to record Mark and David's comments clearly. But we hope you'll still find the video to be easy to follow and interesting.
Special thanks to Aaron Nix-Gomez for his invaluable help in researching the original Robert Lenox Madeiras.