Justino's is one of the oldest producers of Madeira, having been in existence since 1870, when it was known as Justino Henriques. Today, Justino's is owned by the French company La Martiniquaise, which built a modern winery in Cancela, Santa Cruz. With these facilities, they sought to combine traditional vinification practices with the most advanced technology. Fruit is sourced from all over the island, with only the best areas and vineyards selected for the different grape varieties. The robustness and longevity of Madeira, even once opened, allows for endless experimentation with food pairings and drinking occasions.
Justino's source their grapes from vineyards located in Estreito de Câmara de Lobos, Câmara de Lobos and São Vicente. Almost all of the vines are planted on miniscule terraces, known as 'poios' and are pergola trained, which is the traditional way in Madeiran viticulture. Of volcanic origin, the composition of the soils varies depending on the altitude of the vineyard. Most of the island's soil is made up of basaltic matter. At low altitudes the soils are darker and more compact, indicating high levels of iron, while at higher altitudes, trachytic rocks with their rough, gritty surface are more evident.
The 1996 harvest was double that of the previous vintage. The Tinto Negro grapes were of exceptional quality due to excellent weather conditions during the growing season. The abundance of perfectly ripe grapes from both the north and south coasts allowed the growers to reserve the maximum 10% permitted of total Tinta Negra to be classified as Colheita.
The grapes were totally destemmed and crushed. Fermentation was carried out with maceration on the skins at controlled temperatures in stainless steel containers. The juice was then pumped over the cap frequently for two to three days, in order to extract colour and aroma compounds from the skins. Fermentation was stopped by the addition of a neutral grape spirit (96%) in order to maintain the desired sweetness degree, in this case, 130.1g/l. The wine was then aged in old oak casks in the traditional 'Canteiro' system. After maturation the wine underwent racking, fining and filtering before the blend was assembled and bottled.
With fruit sourced from a single harvest, this wine took the coveted 'Masters' title in the 2013 Fortified Masters tasting, topping all other Madeira entries. Deep amber in the glass. Elegant aromas create a rich, ripe nose with hints of grapefruit and roast walnut notes. The palate combines caramel, almond, orange peel and toffee apple notes before a very round and complex finish.