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2016 Fonseca - Vintage Port

PORTUGAL / PORTO/DOURO /
  • 97 WA
  • Variety
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SKU: 50250-2016-1500-1A
  • JamesSuckling.com | Rating: 98

    Lots of ripe fruit here with raisins and wet earth that turn to violets and hot stones. Full-bodied, tannic and powerful with fantastic grip and intensity. Grabs you. Impressive. Drink in 2025.
    Author: James Suckling
  • Wine Advocate | Rating: 97

    The 2016 Vintage Port is a field blend sourced from the typical three Quintas (Panascal in the Tavora Valley and Quinta do Cruzeiro and Quinta de St Antonio in the Pinhão Valley). This was not quite bottled when first seen (set for a week later). It is now in the USA. It was aged for 20 months in wood and comes in with 99 grams of residual sugar. This dry and focused Fonseca was, in my initial July 2018 report, the pick of the Fladgate Group's litter in 2016. What has most changed in this issue is that Taylor's is showing a lot better while this has closed down a bit more. This is not seriously diminished, though. It is pretty brilliant. If you want that old-school power, it comes with Fonseca in this vintage. Taylor's may have the sexiest fruit of the three, but this seems to have the most muscle. It is true that the balance on the two just might be affecting that perception. Taylor's has a bit more mid-palate depth to soak up the power. Still, if Taylor's is flashier and richer in 2016, this seems even more serious. In the long lifespan of Ports, to be sure, it won't be unusual for them to keep flipping back and forth. Admittedly, this is also probably the hardest to read. Still, I couldn't help but think that this might have slightly more upside potential. Check in around 2060 or so to see if I'm right. (Send me an email if you don't think so. I want to hear from you.)
    Drink Dates: 2030 - 2075
    Author: Mark Squires
    Issue: 240
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  • Fonseca's wines have been created by family winemakers throughout the years, using traditional stone lagares to produce their top quality vintage port. Today's winemaking team is looking to employ new technologies such as piston paddle vats, known as "port-toes," to improve the quality of its non-vintage port wines. David Guimaraens, sixth generation Guimaraens, is the current winemaker and strives to maintain the house's "quest for quality, complexity and structure" as well as its prominent position in the world market.

    Discover the very best wines from the top producers in this region.

    The Douro—the port-producing region of Portugal—has a warm continental climate, though weather patterns year over year vary significantly. Growers need to manage frost and heavy rainfall in the spring, followed by high temperatures and drought conditions throughout the growing season. As in Champagne, blending across varieties and vintages is the only way for port producers to maintain consistency in their style over time, and in the best years a vintage is declared.

    Port blends are composed of many indigenous varieties, all with thick skin, high tannin, and black fruit and floral aromas. The most important varieties for the best-quality wines are Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Barroca, Touriga Nacional, and Tinta Cão. Port blends are fortified by the addition of a neutral spirit before fermentation ends, raising the alcohol level to approximately 20% abv and leaving behind residual sugar. The best examples are extremely concentrated with grippy tannins and can age for decades in bottle. Look to the houses of Taylor Fladgate, Fonseca, and Quinta do Noval for some of the best-quality wines.

    The perfect port pairing varies based on style. Late-bottled vintage (LBV) ports pair best with cheese and chocolate. The concentrated flavor profile and high tannin of vintage ports match well with buttery and tangy flavors, including the classic Stilton blue cheese pairing, dark chocolate, figs, and walnut. Oxidized tawny port lacks fruit and displays aromas of nuts, dried apricots, toffee, and caramel. It pairs naturally with nut-forward dishes such as pecan pie, biscotti, pies and crème brûlée.

    Collector Data For This Wine

    • 13 bottles owned
    • 5 collectors