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
96-98/100 Parker's Wine Advocate, Mark Squires
"The 2017 Vintage Port, not quite bottled when seen but the final blend, is a field blend (with typical grapes like Touriga Nacional, Touriga Francesca, Tinto Cão, Tinta Roriz and Tinta Barroca) aged for approximately 20 months in used French oak. It comes in with 98 grams of residual sugar, a little drier on paper than its Taylor sibling this year. Sappy and sensational in flavor and fruit, this seemingly has moderate tannins around the edges on first taste, velvety texture and a long finish. Despite the first impression of moderation, there is plenty of power here. As it got some aeration, it showed nothing but power and closed down fairly hard. The combination of great fruit and fine structure makes this a potentially great Fonseca, but right now it is obviously immature and not showing everything it has. I'd recommend some patience here." Drink 2030 - 2075
95/100 Decanter, Richard Mayson
"Already beautifully integrated, this is showing great purity and poise. It's open and in its first bloom of youth, with lovely aromatic red berry fruit and floral aromas, plus a touch of leafiness. It's soft and fleshy initially, seemingly not as big as its stablemate Taylor's - and not quite so deep in colour - though with dark chocolate concentration and mid-palate firmness. Lovely full, ripe tannins mass in the mouth, well defined, with fresh berry fruit remerging on the broad, expansive finish." Drink 2035 - 2060
95/100 Vinous, Neal Martin
"Picking began at Quinta do Panascal on September 6, the two other quintas in Pinhão that form the 2017 Fonseca Vintage Port, Cruzeiro and Santo António picked on 10 and 17 September respectively. One of the deepest, most opaque color amongst the new Port alumni, it has one of the most backward, almost recalcitrant noses that demands a lot of aeration. It gradually opens to reveal blackberry, melted tar, thyme, clove and violet aromas that are well defined, if maybe just missing the same breeding as Taylor’s. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin. This is fresh and detailed, a slightly more structured Fonseca than expected, quite strict at first with good grip and a lightly spiced, precise finish. Powerful and long on the aftertaste, you can feel this Fonseca 60 seconds after the wine has exited. It deserves 10-15 years in bottle. Excellent, but patience required. The most enigmatic of the 2017 Vintage Ports. Total production is 8,100 cases." Drink 2033 - 2080
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