Fresh and bright on the nose with good sweetness on the palate, if a little light for Fonseca, but overall quite long and very drinkable. June 2010. PS L&S (Jun 2010)
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Fonseca is one of the great port lodges, producing the most exotic and most complex port. If Fonseca lacks the sheer weight and power of a Taylor, Dow or Warre, or the opulent sweetness and intensity of a Graham, it excels in its magnificently complex, intense bouquet of plummy, cedary, spicy fruit and long, broad, expansive flavors. With its lush, seductive character, one might call it the Pomerol of Vintage ports. When it is young, it often loses out in blind tastings to the heavier, weightier, more tannic wines, but I always find myself upgrading my opinion of Fonseca after it has had 7-10 years of age. The 1977 has developed magnificently in the bottle, and while it clearly needs another decade to reach its summit, it is the best Fonseca since the 1970 and 1963. Drinking range: 1999 - Rating: 93-93 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, www.RobertParker.com(Jan 21989)
The nose is surprisingly lifeless with just faint notes of prunes and fig. But the palate is just wonderful: layers of raisiny black fruits, massive tannins and a vice-like grip. Still very backward with a lovely sweet raspberry, prune and raisin finish. If only the bouquet had the ambition of the palate! Drink now-2020. Tasted October 2003. Drinking range: 2008 - 2020 Rating: 93-94 Neal Martin, www.robertparker.com(Sep 2008)
Manuel Pedro Guimaraens bought out the Fonseca family's share of Fonseca & Monteiro in 1822, sold with the proviso that the Company would always bear the Fonseca name, and the Guimaraens family have controlled Fonseca ever since, even after absorbtion by Taylors, Fladgate & Yeatman in 1948. Not long after taking control of the Company, due to his support of the deposed King Pedro IV, Manuel was forced to flee Portugal (allegedly in an empty wine barrel) and settled in London, from where Fonseca was run until 1927 when the Guimaraens family returned to Portugal. David Guimaraens is the winemaker today, not only at Fonseca but Taylors too. In recent years especially, Fonseca and Taylors have elevated themselves clearly above their rivals for the sheer quality and prestige of their Vintage Ports.
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