Community Tasting Notes (142) Avg Score: 93.2 points

  • A lovely VP, but an absolute nightmare to get the cork out. The screw went in easily, but it came apart then I pulled it up. I’ve got a great two-stage corkscrew, but the cork just ripped. It had somehow fused itself against the bottle in one area. I had to peel the left over bit out with a crab leg picker.
    I poured it into a decanter through a filter. There was some sediment (and cork gristle of course!).

    The colour has started to fade on this one, with some dark brick red on the edges.

    I then poured a sip-sized amount into a glass. On the nose some prunes and some stewed black fruit.
    On the palate an absolute prune fest. Sweet prunes, nothing else, except a little bit of hotness from the alcohol.
    After 3 or 4 hours the cherries started to arrive, and the wine was much more open. Also some floral notes on the nose. The hotness had gone.

    Eventually, after 5 hours, I poured it back into the bottle.
    We had it after dinner, probably 10 hours after opening the bottle.

    The wine was much better than when I initially opened it, and had a wide variety of fruit notes, some light oak and some chocolate.

    We had it with Stilton, some dark chocolate, pecan and walnuts, and cheddar. Unsurprisingly, a great paring.

    I was expecting more tannins in the wine, and was surprised by how accessible it was. I had the Taylor’s 2009 recently, and that was much darker, both in colour and flavours. The tannins were much more pronounced.

    This Fonseca will last for years though, and if you have a few bottles (I have 5 left), give it a go soon, and see in 5 years how it has developed.

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  • I've had this bottle from release, and it was the last of a 3-bottle purchase.

    No problems pulling the cork with an ah-so. Cork was on the spongy side but no signs of stains on the side. Decanted for sediment, and there was a lot of it. Left open in the decanter for a couple of hours before re-bottling and bringing it to a friend's house.

    Color had a deep maroon color with a little browning at the edges of the glass. Nose was fantastic that reminded me of Luxardo cherries, baking spices, black currant jam. Not spirity on the nose as I sometimes experienced with young port. The aromas carried over to the palate on a silky palate. A surprising bonus was how it paired very well with a bacon-butternut squash risotto.

    Definitely seek more port in the future and do this pairing again.

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  • Cherry explosion! I have three more bottles - can’t wait to see where this is at in a decade.

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  • Deep brick red.
    Aromas of boysenberry, licorice, tobacco, cloves, geranium and rosemary.
    Sweet but not over-sweet.
    Grained chewy tannins. Blackberry acids and walnut bitterness.
    Palate of cassis, blueberry, aniseed, espresso and cardamon.
    A rather young and muscular port with red wine attributes and elegant spices. Keep for 10+ years. Tasted 2023. Tasted alongside Graham 1985. The matched wine displayed greater complexity, while the present wine has power and a stunning structure.

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  • 1970-2000 Fonseca Vintage Ports Vertical (Palo Alto, California): Nose: 90; Palate: 90
    My #8; Group's #9; Tasted blind

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The World of Fine Wine

For The Love of Port

For The Love of Port


  • By Stephen Tanzer
    January/February 2003, IWC Issue #106, (See more on Vinous...)

    (Fonseca Vintage Port) Login and sign up and see review text.

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