- Touriga Nacional / Tinta Roriz / Tinta Barroca
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A blend from Fonseca’s three main quintas on the Douro: Panascal south of Pinhao, and Santo Antonio and Cruzeiro north of the town. This is an absolute beauty. I totally concur with David Guimaraens view that the 2018 stands as one of the finest examples of the Guimaraens style in recent years. Dense garnet colour, the initial aromas are of earthy wild berry fruits with a hint of white pepper and spice, just a glorious expression of rich abundant fruit. This is a beauty, reflecting the joyous Fonseca style of vintage port. It is exuberant with a fine volume of fruit, sweet and generous and the richness in character supports the layered leathery tannic core one seeks in a wine of this quality in its infancy. Beautifully balanced with not an inkling of spirit in the palate. A total and utter joy. I love this! Drink 2028-2060
Neal Martin, February 2021,
The 2018 Guimaraens Vintage Port...has a rich and opulent bouquet with black cherries, stewed figs and dates. The palate is sweet and fleshy on the entry with black fruit, tar, desiccated orange peel, Xmas cake and juniper berries. I admire the harmony of this Vintage Port. The firm structure only becomes apparent towards the finish. Wonderful length on the aftertaste, the mouth stained with Port for 60 seconds after. Excellent. Drinking window: 2030 - 2065. Neal Martin
Robert Parker, February 2021,
The 2018 Guimaraens Vintage Port is a field blend that comes in with 98 grams of residual sugar. It was aged in large wooden vats for approximately 18 months. Elegant and aromatic, this is laced with a little eucalyptus up front. It is ultimately a focused Guimaraens that has a graceful demeanor and fine structure. Drinking window: 2027 - 2060.
Jancis Robinson, February 2021,
Blackish crimson. High toned and alluring on the nose. Quite a bit of structure and something suggestive of fireworks. This is the business for a vintage port! The sort of wine that would probably have qualified as a full-blooded Fonseca vintage port a few decades ago. Peppery and fiery and yet the tannins are subsumed under the fruit. We’re having steak tonight and I am tempted to drink this with it. 20%. Drink 2030-2050.
Wine Spectator, February 2021,
Warm, soft-edged and generally open, with a core of steeped plum, blackberry preserve and blueberry reduction flavors leading the way, backed by hints of ganache and licorice root on the finish that add a grippier feel. More bass than treble, but well-packed and should age well. Best from 2030 through 2045. James Molesworth
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.