Wine Advocate | Rating: 98The 2017 Vintage Port, not quite bottled when seen but the final blend, is a field blend (with typical grapes like Touriga Nacional, Touriga Francesca, Tinto Cão, Tinta Roriz and Tinta Barroca) aged for approximately 20 months in used French oak. It comes in with 98 grams of residual sugar, a little drier on paper than its Taylor sibling this year. Sappy and sensational in flavor and fruit, this seemingly has moderate tannins around the edges on first taste, velvety texture and a long finish. Despite the first impression of moderation, there is plenty of power here. As it got some aeration, it showed nothing but power and closed down fairly hard. The combination of great fruit and fine structure makes this a potentially great Fonseca, but right now it is obviously immature and not showing everything it has. I'd recommend some patience here.Drink Dates: 2030 - 2075Author: Mark SquiresIssue: July 2019 Week 2
The Douro—the port-producing region of —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 , 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 , , and 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.