Expansive, heady nose is followed by finely harmonious purple and black fruit notes, lively and round at the same time. Sleek feel, with the intensity well-hidden in the mineral and the fruit. Spicy. Long. More expressive than Taylor, the two will make a fascinating comparison. Rating: 95-95 L&S (Mar 2017)
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Heady, opulent nose. Completely enveloping, Smells as though there is going to be the most fabulous texture. Wow! All stops pulled out for this one. It's all absolutely gorgeous intensity of sweet fruit on the front palate and then gradually the schist and structure reveal themselves. This is really wonderful stuff. So tempting to sip it decades before it is ready. 2035 - 2080. Rating: 19.5 Jancis Robinson MW OBE - www.JancisRobinson.com
The Fonseca 2011 is typically more forthcoming on the nose compared to the bashful Croft: a strident bouquet with lifted scents of freshly picked blackberries, kirsch, crushed stone and a dash of Hoi Sin and oyster sauce. It is very well-defined, very focused and direct. The palate is silky smooth with not a rough edge in sight, though not a typically voluptuous Fonseca because of the keen thread of acidity and the structure that lends this mighty Port wonderful backbone. A slight viscosity on the finish lacquers the tongue and indicates a core of sweet fruit is ticking away underneath that will surely explode several years after bottling. A tincture of salted licorice on the aftertaste is very attractive. This will turn out to become an outstanding Fonseca, the growing season taming its exuberance with spectacular results. So much potential, but just 6,000 cases were produced. Rating: 97-99 Neal Martin, www.robertparker.com
Rich and ripe: super-concentrated, dense and warm with spicy richness and firm tannins. Very ripe, sweet, lush black fruits dominate. Rating: 93-96 Jamie Goode, www.wineanorak.com
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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