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Fonseca has belonged to the first rank of Vintage Port producers since the mid-nineteenth century. Fonseca Vintage Ports are noted for their luscious fruitiness which develops great opulence and complexity with age. Wines born of inspired winemaking and a thorough understanding of viticulture and terroir, they appeal, perhaps more than any other house's Vintage Ports, to the enthusiast and connoisseur.
Vintage Ports represent the finest produce of a single exceptional year. Unlike Ports which age in wood, Vintage Ports will continue to age and improve in bottle for decades, their character bearing the imprint of both vineyard and wine maker.
A constant thread that runs through the history of Fonseca is the family's close involvement with the making of the firm's Vintage Ports. Throughout the 20th century, the making of Fonseca Vintage Ports was overseen by only four family members, Frank, Dorothy, Bruce and David Guimaraens and this has helped to make Fonseca one of the most stylistically consistent of Vintage Port producers.
The firm's Vintage Ports are drawn from its own quintas or estates: Cruzeiro and Santo António in the Pinhão Valley, which have contributed to the firm's Vintage Port blend for 100 years, as well the Távora Valley property of Panascal. Fonseca is unique among Port houses in making three different types of Vintage Port.
Fonseca Vintage Ports are released only when a year produces outstanding wines with long term ageing potential. These classic Vintage Ports are a blend of wines from Cruzeiro, Santo António and Panascal. Cruzeiro contributes concentrated black fruit flavours and firm tannic 'grip'. Panascal adds an opulent luscious fruitiness and a dense velvety texture. Finally, Santo António brings complexity and vibrancy with its fine scented character and fresh acidity.
Although they can be enjoyed when young, Fonseca Vintage Ports will continue to improve in bottle for many decades. They have the stamina and aromatic potential to last for over a hundred years. Attracting the highest scores and auction prices, they are favoured not only by fine wine enthusiasts but also by collectors and investors.
Port Vintage Report: Declared by 26 shippers, this was the largest declaration since 1927, and is one of the most underrated Vintages of the 20th Century. A real pleasure to drink now, the best will last well into the 21st Century if well cellared.
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