Fine and spicy, richly damson fruity and very pure. Very enveloped. A whiff of what I think Michael Broadbent called wet oilskin - like Barolo you can smell thick grapeskins. Goes on and on on very black sloe gin finish. Very impressive sense of power barely contained.
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Looks much more evolved and indeed smells much more open than one might expect. Very luscious, with a hint of cough medicine and masses of ripe fruit, though no specious sweetness. Lots of tannin on the finish. I suspect if I were tasting this blind I might not be quite so indulgent and might wonder about what is tying everything together in the middle. Very dry finish, very open, loose start. Later: But I went back after an hour or so and can see that this is a very dramatic wine, not playing safe at all. Very tannic finish. 2020-35
18 Jancis Robinson MW OBE - www.JancisRobinson.com
A limpid purple garnet core. The nose is quintessential Fonseca, like a riotous party reaching its crescendo in the glass. Macerated black cherries, eau-de-vie, damson, fig and a touch of Seville orange. Then what is fascinating is that the uproar dies down with aeration, becomes more focused...as if the host has asked everyone to quieten down. The palate is powerful and spicy on the entry, sweet ripe black berried fruits, a touch of spice, fig and apricot, lovely cohesion and weight building towards a deeply joyous finish that lacquers the mouth in port-like reverie. Perhaps more approachable than the 2000 or the 2003 at this stage, this is a marvellous Fonseca.
96/100 Neal Martin, www.erobertparker.com
Cooked raspberry, with hints of lemon peel and leaf. Full-bodied and medium sweet, with a beautiful density and a sweet fruity and tannic aftertaste. Balanced yet muscular. A little disappointing, but clearly outstanding.
92 - 95/100 James Suckling, The Wine Spectator
Fragrant, hedgerow aromas, powerful put angular. Fine, focused berry fruit, pepper and spice, not big, soft initially with some rather green tannins rising in the mouth and a hard, dry finish. Usually a favourite. Drink from 2020.
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