From the legendary 1840, Fonseca's first Vintage Port release, to the superb declared vintages of the last decade, the house has produced a succession of highly acclaimed wines even in the most adverse moments of history. As Robert Parker wrote in The Wine Buyer's Guide, 'Fonseca is one of the great port lodges, producing the most exotic and most complex port. With its lush, seductive character, one might call it the Pomerol of Vintage ports.' James Suckling, in his authoritative book on Vintage Port, put it as follows: 'The vintage Ports of Fonseca are perhaps the most consistently great of them all. Not only do they have a striking fleshiness and powerful richness when young, but they retain that youthfulness for decades.' Fonseca's three estates, Panascal, Cruzeiro and Santo António, with their distinctive terroirs, have a key role in defining the unmistakable character of the firm's wines. Fonseca also became a pioneer of organic and sustainable viticulture, helping to conserve the unique ecosystem and landscape of the valley for future generations.
What The Critics Say
98/100 James Suckling
"Lots of ripe fruit here with raisins and wet earth that turn to violets and hot stones. Full-bodied, tannic and powerful with fantastic grip and intensity. Grabs you. Impressive." Drink 2025+
96-98/100 Parker's Wiune Advocate, Mark Squires
"It was aged for 20 months in wood and comes in with 99 grams of residual sugar. This Fonseca is remarkably expressive, lifted and gloriously fresh. However, the most notable feature is the structure. It is very impressive in structure, that classic Port power and firmness coming to the fore and overshadowing the rest at the moment. To me, this is the best of the three 2016s from the Fladgate Group this issue (Croft and Taylor being the other two), thanks to its pure intensity, but time will tell if it becomes as sexy as I'm sure Taylor's will be. In the meanwhile, Fonseca looks like one of the greats of this vintage." Drink 2030 - 2075
96/100 Vinous, Neal Martin
"The 2016 Fonseca Vintage Port began to be picked on 21 September at their Panascal vineyard, their Quinta do Cruzeira vineyard not picked until 6 October. It is deep, almost inky in colour. The bouquet is very intense with luscious black fruit laced with embers, clove and hints of bay leaf. There is wonderful purity here and a broodiness that suggests you'd better be patient. The palate is sweet and lively on the entry with some gorgeous ginger and curry leaf notes littered over the compact black fruit. There is wonderful density to this Fonseca. It is like a coiled spring with so much energy towards the finish that you just know this will be a long-term prospect. Superb. Production is 4,900 cases." Drink 2026 - 2070
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