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Fonseca 20 Year Old Tawny

Port from Portugal
  • WE94
  • W&S92
  • RP92
  • D90
    750ML / 0% ABV
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    4.5 21 Ratings
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    4.5 21 Ratings
      750ML / 0% ABV

      Winemaker Notes

      Fonseca Twenty Year Old Tawny Porto is deep amber in color with russet highlights. Its superb bouquet is a complex marriage of ripe, plummy, mature fruit, warm spicy overtones of cinnamon and butterscotch and subtle oak nuances. Full-bodied and voluminous on the palate, its smooth, velvety texture is carried into a long clean, elegant finish. Tawny Ports of age will not improve once bottled; they should be served at room temperature or barely cool at the end of a meal with nuts or not overly-sweet desserts.

      Critical Acclaim

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      WE 94
      Wine Enthusiast
      This gorgeous Port is at the perfect stage where there are still freshness and hints of orange and dried fruit, while the wood aging is concentrating the wine into its essence.
      W&S 92
      Wine & Spirits
      A classical balance of the fresh and the mature, this 20-Year-Old offers warm honey, apple and almond notes on a supple texture with just a touch of grip. The flavors are rich while the structure holds them tight.
      RP 92
      Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
      The NV 20 Year Old Tawny was bottled with a bar top cork in 2013. It comes in at 111.6 grams per liter of residual sugar. A big mouthful, this is a 20 that first coats the palate and then ends with silky texture and concentrated flavor. Very graceful, it is not as impressive in terms of mid-palate density, but it is more than respectable. It shows fine complexity, appropriate to its age category. The finish seals the deal, more lingering and gripping than I expected from the first taste. It is another delicious Tawny from the Taylor Fladgate group this issue, so dig in.
      D 90
      Decanter

      Restrained pecan pie and roasted fruit nose introduces a rich and full palate with lush redcurrant and honeyed nut flavours.

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      Fonseca

      Fonseca

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      Fonseca, Portugal
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      Fonseca Port was founded in 1822 and grew rapidly in reputation and importance. Since its foundation, successive generations of the Guimaraens family have upheld the Company’s reputation. Today, Fonseca occupies a leading position as a specialist producer of quality wood ports and as one of the top vintage houses.

      Fonseca may indeed be unique in the annals of Port in that every Fonseca vintage port in the last 100 years has been made by just four members of the Guimaraens family. The fourth member, David Guimaraens, continues the tradition having taken over from his father as winemaker in 1992. This remarkable continuity of winemaker is clearly evident in the wine. The company continues to foot tread every single grape grown in its three vineyards in granite stone troughs in the traditional way.

      In his book, Vintage Port, James Suckling has written: "Fonseca is the King of Port. It produces the best Vintage Port in every declared year, with very few exceptions." Robert Parker summed up Fonseca's style as "The most exotic and most complex Port...With its lush, seductive character, one might call it the Pomerol of Vintage Ports."

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      Best known for intense, impressive and age-worthy fortified wines, Portugal relies almost exclusively on its many indigenous grape varieties. Bordering Spain to its north and east, and the Atlantic Ocean on its west and south coasts, this is a land where tradition reigns supreme, due to its relative geographical and, for much of the 20th century, political isolation. A long and narrow but small country, Portugal claims considerable diversity in climate and wine styles, with milder weather in the north and significantly more rainfall near the coast.

      While Port (named after its city of Oporto on the Atlantic Coast at the end of the Douro Valley), made Portugal famous, Portugal is also an excellent source of dry red and white wines of various styles.

      The Duoro Valley produces full-bodied and concentrated dry red wines made from the same set of grape varieties used for Port, which include Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz (Spain’s Tempranillo), Touriga Franca, Tinta Barroca and Tinto Cão, among a long list of others in minor proportions.

      Other dry wines include the tart, slightly effervescent Vinho Verde white wine, made in the north, and the bright, elegant reds and whites of the Dão as well as the bold, and fruit-driven reds and whites of the southern, Alentejo.

      The nation’s other important fortified wine, Madeira, is produced on the eponymous island off the North African coast.

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      Blended from the most important red grapes of the Douro Valley, Port is based on Touriga Nacional with over 80 other varieties approved for use. However, typically only four other varieties play a major role: Tinta Barroca, Tinta Cão, Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo) and Touriga Franca. Other wine regions of the world can produce fortified wine of a similar style from the same grapes or other grapes.

      Tasting Notes for Port

      Port is a sweet, fortified wine with numerous styles: Ruby, Tawny, Vintage, Late Bottled Vintage (LBV), White, Colheita, and a few unusual others. Ruby Ports usually pack the most value and are ready to drink once bottled. Typical characteristics are ripe cherry and blackberry flavors with stewed plums, cocoa and dates. Tawny ports are “tawny” in color and have flavors of toffee, caramel, toasted pecans, vanilla, dried apricot, citrus peel, green figs and roasted espresso. The age designation on a Tawny indicates the average age of the grapes in the bottle. These are not intended for age once bottled. When Port is made with high quality grapes selected from a single notable vintage, it is called Vintage Port. Some of the best recent vintages are 2016, 2011, 2007, 2003, 2000, 1997 and 1994. Vintage Port is complex full-bodied with many flavors possible: concentrated blackberry, black cherry, raspberry and spice, smoke, coffee and chocolate. Vintage ports tend to improve in the bottle up to approximately 30 years from the vintage. LBV Port comes from a single-vintage Ruby Port and may spend six years in the barrel before being bottled. These are ready to drink 3-6 years after release. Serve most Ports slightly chilled at around 55-65°F.

      Perfect Food Pairings for Port

      Pecan pie, biscotti and crème brûlée are perfect food pairings for Tawny Port. Molten chocolate cake, dark chocolate covered cherries and chocolate trifle work well with Ruby Port. An assortment of nuts and cheese will pair with almost any sort of Port.

      Sommelier Secrets for Port

      Colheita is best explained as a Tawny port from a single vintage. These must be aged in wood for at least seven years before release, though most are aged longer.

      NDF273844 Item# 1520

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