- Touriga Nacional / Tinta Roriz / Tinta Barroca
- 2014 - 2035
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Goedhuis, August 2016
Dense aromas of cassis, Victoria plums and subtle hints of violets. In the palate there is a delicious balance between its taut firm texture and delicious sweetness and generous fruit flavours. There is an extraordinary degree of power and drive along with warmth and volume. Now 20 years old this is evolving beautifully but has the potential to go some way further. Very high class indeed.
Robert Parker, January 2000,
Wine Advocate #126 (Jan 2000) Robert Parker 93 points Drink through 2020 Somewhat of a lightweight for Fonseca, but undeniably charming, this dark ruby/purple-colored wine offers a floral, exotic, flamboyant bouquet, a sweet, fleshy style, but not a great deal of weight or massiveness. Heady alcohol, sweet tannin, and a velvety texture make for a gorgeous finish. While I would have preferred to have seen more weight, structure, and intensity, this is an outstanding, albeit lighter than normal Fonseca. Anticipated maturity: now-2020.
Jancis Robinson, October 2002,
Fonseca 199718.5 Drink 2012 - 2030 Black purple. Much softer and gentler than the Taylor's. Spice, tannins. A big 'un. Fleshy.
In no Port house is the inherited tradition of winemaking skill and knowledge more evident than at Fonseca Guimaraens, where the wines have been made by the same family since its foundation in 1822. Fonseca purchased the Quinta do Panascal in 1978 after the property had been supplying grapes to the company for over 20 years. The wines from Quinta do Panascal had long been an important component in Fonseca's vintage blend. Quinta do Panascal's reputation goes back to the 18th centurywhen wines from the Rio Tavora were considered to be amongst the finest in Portugal. After acquiring the Quinta, Fonseca undertook a substantial programme of renovation and development in the 1980's and further increased the size of the property with the addition of Quinta do Val dosMuros in 1985. The property at the moment totals just over 76 hectares of which 44 hectares is under vine producing 858 hectoliters of port. The Fonseca Guimaraens house style is one of richness and warmth, with a lush fruit intensity and a structure of both dimension and finesse. More voluptuous than massive, Fonseca Ports are coveted for their sumptuous yet refined body and great longevity.
Port is made in the Cima Corgo, Baixo Corgo and Douro Superior districts of the Douro Valley in the north of Portugal. The summers are hot and dry and the climate becomes more continental as you move further east towards the upper Douro Valley. Here temperatures often exceed 40 degrees. The Douro Valley has steep hillsides with terraces, which is not only aesthetically pleasing but is also extremely useful for making quality wine. The schist soils aid in drainage and have become very important to port production, so much so that much of the Douro table wines have been relegated to granite soils. The six main grape varieties used for port production are Touriga Nacional, Tinta Cão, Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo), Tinta Barroca, Touriga Francesa and Tinta Amarela. There are another 42 grape varieties that are permitted but these six are considered to be the noblest ones, each adding something different to the blend. After the harvest the grapes are trodden, often by foot but more often by machines, in giant lagars (troughs). Port is a fortified wine so during fermentation ‘brandy' (not actually brandy but a grape-distilled spirit) is added to increase thealcoholic strength to around 17-19 % abv. This leaves a sweet, red fortified wine with lots of vibrant fruit. There are many different types of Port from the Basic Ruby Ports, through to Tawny Ports and LBVs, to probably the most famous of all Vintage Port that can take 20 years to reach its peak. When mature, Vintage Port is a unique tasting experience with warm, concentrated spicy-fruit flavours and a superb length that just goes on and on.