Extremely ripe, raisiny vintage Port with lots of wet-earth and granite character. Off-dry and chewy. Big tannins. Brutish still but impressive. Better in 2018. Rating: 93 James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com (Nov 2015)
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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.
There are lots of attractive fragrances on the nose violets, lavender and eucalyptus lots of complexity. The palate has power and depth the black fruits backed by mint with the vibrant sinewy tannins giving structure and the velvety richness of blackberry jam and chocolate the flesh. It has power yet stylish elegance. 2025-50 Rating: 96 Derek Smedley MW, www.dereksmedleymw.co.uk (Dec 2013)
The Fonseca 2009 has a very ripe sweet prune and fig-tinged bouquet that is very precocious. Touches of smoke, raisin and dark plum begin to emerge with time, though it needs to evolve a little more cohesion. The palate is full-bodied with saturated tannins, luscious dark berried fruit, touches of pomegranate, fig and dates that lead to a gently grippy, persistent finish. This is a fine Fonseca, but I wanted it to give me more flamboyance and brio. Tasted May 2011. Rating: 93-93 Neal Martin, www.robertparker.com (Jun 2011)
Blackish purple. Heady, opulent nose - really very winning indeed already! But on the palate there seems to be just a slight hole in the middle, a lack of sheer fruit weight. Long and vibrato on the finish though until an extremely dry note on the very end. This reminds me of a fortified version of a 2003 right bank bordeaux. Drink 2030-50 Rating: 17.5+ Jancis Robinson MW OBE - www.JancisRobinson.com (Jun 2011)
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