Definition - What does Maderization mean?

Maderization is the process by which wine is oxidated and heated. The term is derived from the traditional process in which Madeira wine is made. Through the process, the the color of the wine darkens and it gains a Sherry-like character.

"Maderized" wines are those that have a brownish color and have aroma and flavor characteristics similar to Cognac and Sherry.

WineFrog explains Maderization

Madeira is a fortified wine made on the Portuguese Madeira Islands. In order for the wine to obtain its classic "Madeira" characteristics it must be put through the "Estufagen" process. There are three ways this can be done:

  • Cuba de Calor
  • Canteiro
  • Armazém de Calor

The result are wines that are brownish in color with certain characteristics of burnt sugar, caramel, toasted nuts, orange zest, and some stone fruit.

For normal, still wines, if a wine appears to have characteristics similar to wines made under the maderization process, this is a fault. For sweet and late harvest wines, this can be a desirable trait that happens from lengthy bottle-aging.

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