The term 'Colheita' is a relatively new addition to the Madeira lexicon and 'by the book' needs to be from a single and exceptional year's harvest that is then aged for a minimum of five years in cask before bottling (in contrast to the requirement for 20 years ageing for 'proper' vintages. But the D'Oliveiras have gone just a bit mad and having declared their 1981 a Colheita then bottled this in 2007 after just 26 years cask ageing.
Not only that, but despite the allowance of up to 15%, 'topping up' with younger vintages to make up the volumes lost to evaporation, the D'Oliveiras have foresworn such considerations and kept their 81 Colheita completely unadulterated.
The result is really an unusual junior 'vintage' at Colheita prices, which is an exceptional combination! With a light amber hue and salty ocean aromas melded with tobacco, citrus and - unexpectedly - fudge, this delivers a light Verdelho very suited to the 'modern' palate. It convinces us.