The Legend of Fonseca Port, tutored by Adrian Bridge October 2012

The Legend of Fonseca Port, tutored by Adrian Bridge

Fonseca's was founded in 1815, and the Guimaraens family have been involved since that day. The House Style of Fonseca is voluptuous, plump and delicious! Many of the vineyard sites are south facing slopes, which helps to produce the rich style of Fonseca.
Fonseca Bin 27
Used to be called Ruby Reserve and was originally the family reserve wine that was stored in Bin 27. Production is 55,000 cases. Adrian says this is seen as what Fonseca is all about.
Black in colour, fresh young delightful fruit, sweet and juicy nose. Sweet dark berry fruit, bold yet sweet and supple on the palate long juicy dark fruit finish. Gentle black pepper finish. very enjoyable.
Fonseca Terra Prima Organic
2003 was the first release of this wine. Organic production is difficult in the Douro, the Organic vineyards cost 25% more to run and yields are 25% less, so organic production is not good for the bottom line! This is a single Quinta wine, produced as Non Vintage port. Its classification is a Reserve Ruby Port. 3 years in wood. Production is only 4500 cases.
Not as black, but still pretty dark, streaks of bright red. Dark and juicy, slight more complex on the nose. Slighty more retsrained on the palate, but a little more length than the Bin 27, long dark fruit finish.
Fonseca Crusted
 A reserve port, aged in bottle for further 3 years before release. 
Much more complex nose, quite restrained dark berry fruits, more layers of flavour. More viscous and weight in the mouth, juicy dark berry fruits, lovely dark pepper spicy finish. A much more complex wine than the previous two.
Fonseca Unfiltered LBV 2007
75% of all LBV ports is drunk in the UK and Canada, with the UK responsible for 50% of all LBV consumption.
Black in colour, dark concentrated blackberry fruits, luscious blackcurrant fruit, spicy sweet, lovely balance, really good length. A little spirit on the finish, but a really, really good long finish. Very good value for money.
Fonseca 10 Yr Old Tawny
Not as brown as expected, Tawny colour with bright red streaks.
Wood and fruit nose, with the fruit dominating, dried fruits rather than juicy dark berry fruits. Hints of fig, dried sultanas etc, quite viscous in the mouth, lovely balance. Long figgy dried fruit finish. Not as light as expected, a little more serious?
Fonseca 20 Yr Old Tawny
 More tawny colour, still very bright in colour. Much more oxodative nose, spicy, peppery, elegant and long, figgy and woody. Really long gently spirity.
Fonseca 40 Yr Old Twany
Dark, almost brown, intense fruit flavours, with woody hints.Luscious sweet fruits, figgy, sultanas, big filling Quite prominant spirit, but big wine and quite delicious.
Fonseca Guimaraens 1996 Vintage
From a number of Quinta's, is always ready to drink after 10-15 years and will reach maturity at 25 years. So is only produced in thenone great years. Showing more age than the Fonseca 85. Quite an evolved wine, much more evolved than expected. Damson fruit, blackberry fruit, spicy. A touch more mocha and chocolate, with spicy blackberry fruit. Long finish.
Quinta do Panascal 1998 Vintage
The lead property of Fonseca. Black in colour, much more juicy than the 1996, very opulent and up front. Sweet black fruits, juicyfruits on the palate, but good structure. Possibly not as complex, but very appealing. Sweet long chocolate fruit finish. Certainly more appealing than the Guimaraens 1996.
Fonseca 1963
At this point Fonseca did not own any vineyards and 1963 was a really big vintage.
Brown in colour, figgy, mocha, complex sweet fruit, gentle spice and spirit. Really good weight in the mouth, dark fruits, spicy, layers of flavour, mocha, excellent balance and length. Really good balance, very classy wine. Certainly at its peak and will not get any better, but will be at its peak for a while yet.
Fonseca 1985
One of the biggest ever vintages for Fonseca, 18000 cases were released. A hot vintage, really good colour, not showing its age, just a gentle tawny tinge. Lovely juicy fruit, sweet and oppulent,very appealing nose. Only just starting to show complexity. Sweet black fruits, spicy, chocolate/coffee, concentrated, real backbone, long sweet peppery finish. Possibley the best 85 Vintage I tasted.
Fonseca 2000
Bright black intense colour.Really juicy sweet fruits on the nose, restrained, but really concentrated. Huge dark berry fruits in the mouth, massive concentration of juicy sweet black fruits, luscious. Really long black fruits finish. Great balance, is going to be really very good. 
Fonseca 2009
Only 6300 cases made. This is the latest release of the Fonseca Vintage Port portfolio! Black in colour, very concentrated, much more brooding than any of the other wines. Itense berry fruits, cassis. Huge weight in the mouth, massive mouth feel, bold tannins but still supple. Long fruit finish and a touch of spice on the finish. This is going to be a very long lived wine. Adrian described it as a very old fashioned wine, it is a very striking wine, and quite destinctive!
An excellent tasting and some quite fabulous wines. Port at its very best!
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Posted on 22/10/2012
by Philip
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