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Fonseca Guimaraens Port 2015

Port from Portugal
  • RP95
  • JS93
  • WE93
  • WS93
    20% ABV
    • W&S90
    • WS85
    • WS92
    • WS93
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    Currently Unavailable $53.99
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      20% ABV

      Winemaker Notes

      #88 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2017

      Opaque purple-black at the center with a very thin, purple edge. Dense blackberry and blackcurrant aromas form the backdrop for a display of fresh, minty, balsamic scents and resiny notes of wild herbs. Discreet hints of exotic wood, liquorice and black pepper provide an additional dimension of complexity. The thick, tightly woven tannins provide both firmness and volume to the palate which is built around a core of dense, dark berry fruit. Plummy, raspberry flavors emerge on the long, luscious finish, giving it an attractive crispness and lift. An exceptional Guimaraens Vintage Port, expressive and approachable but with the stamina to improve over many years in the cellar.

      Enjoy with blue cheese, aged cheeses, desserts made with dark chocolate or berries, nuts or dried fruits.

      Critical Acclaim

      All Vintages
      RP 95
      Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
      The 2015 Guimaraens Vintage Port is a field blend coming in at 101 grams per liter of residual sugar. This was a tank sample when seen, out of barrel, the final blend and awaiting bottling in a couple of weeks. It should be released by the time this article appears. This is the blend Fonseca releases when there is no "classic" vintage declaration. It is usually intended to be approachable a bit earlier, much like a second wine. It seems pretty impressive this year, though. Round, big and lush, it might well be the best of the 2015s from the Fladgate Partnership, especially on the hedonism scale. It also seems to be the most concentrated of the Fladgate Partnership's wines this issue, full bodied and mouth coating. With air, this shows plenty of tannins underneath, too, but the mid-palate depth balances everything perfectly. Underneath that first rush of everything is intensely flavorful and fresh 2015 fruit. That's what this vintage tends to deliver. As relatively fat as this is in its youth, it also seems relatively dry this year. This has a long life ahead and the potential for significant development. It may be approachable on the younger side, but I'd personally like to put it away for at least 15 years (from vintage date). It quite possibly needs considerably more cellar time, particularly depending on how much complexity you demand. (I personally tend to lean to longer in my own tastes, but each to his own.) It should age very well, too. Winemaker David Guimaraens told me that he "guaranteed" at least 50 years from vintage date. I think he's right, but let's check back in with him around 2065 and jeer if he is wrong. This is a can't-miss bargain at the price.
      Range: 93-95
      JS 93
      James Suckling
      A firm and gutsy Fonseca with medium to full body, chewy and powerful tannins and a long and flavorful finish. Lots of blueberry, blackberry and mineral undertones. Even some slate. Long and powerful. Medium sweetness. Better in 2019.
      WE 93
      Wine Enthusiast
      This is a ripe and delicious wine, packed with tannins as well as perfumed fruit. It has density as well as rich blackberries and acidity to balance. The wine will be ready to drink from 2025.
      WS 93
      Wine Spectator
      This is warm and lush in feel, and really well-built, with layers of blueberry, açaí berry and plum reduction flavors rolling through, laced with hints of ganache and fruitcake. Lots of graphite-edged grip lines the finish.
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      Fonseca

      Fonseca

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      Fonseca, Portugal
      Image of winery

      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."

      Portugal

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      Best known for intense, impressive and age-worthy fortified wines, Portugal is unique in that it 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 in part to its relative geographical and, for much of the 20th century, political isolation, Portugal has developed independent of its fellow European compatriots. A long and narrow 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 in 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 of the mainland include the tart, slightly effervescent Vinho Verde of 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 Alentejo.

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

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

      There are numerous styles of Port: Ruby, Tawny, 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 Port indicates the average vintage age of the grapes in the bottle.

      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 2011, 2009, 2007, 2003, 2000, 1997 and 1994. Vintage Ports are complex and full-bodied with many flavors possible: concentrated blackberry, black cherry, raspberry and spice, smoke, coffee and chocolate.

      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 upon release. Serve most Ports slightly chilled at around 55-65°F.

      CGM36747_2015 Item# 336500