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Jose Maria Da Fonseca Jose de Sousa 2015

Other Red Blends from Portugal
  • WE94
750ML / 14.2% ABV
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  • WE93
  • WE93
  • W&S92
  • WE93
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4.1 5 Ratings
750ML / 14.2% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The José de Sousa Rosado Fernandes Cellar was founded in 1878 and was purchased by José Maria da Fonseca in 1986, fulfilling an old dream of producing wine in Alentejo, in an estate full of prestige and history. The estate is located in Reguengos de Monsaraz, and it is here that a 2.000 year old Roman tradition is kept alive. The José de Sousa Cellar owns 114 ceramic amphorae in which an ancient fermentation method takes place.

Dark red with some depth, the 2015 Jose de Sousa shows aromas of dates, chocolate, oak, some vanilla, fig, and spices. On the palate, the wine is fruity, velvety, with good tannins, some complexity and a good acidity.

Serve slightly chilled and enjoy it with game and cheese.

Blend: 52% Grand Noir, 33% Trincadeira, 15% Aragonês

Critical Acclaim

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WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
Named after the Fonseca estate in Alentejo, this wine is impressively rich and structured. It has firm tannins that are balanced by dense black fruits and crisp acidity. A blend of Grand Noir (the local name for Baga), Trincadeira and Aragonês, it's a very complete wine, fermented in clay amphora and stone lagars. It's still maturing, so drink from 2019.
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Jose Maria Da Fonseca

Jose Maria Da Fonseca

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Jose Maria Da Fonseca, Portugal
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What is it that fuels the Soares Franco family’s passion and commitment to producing outstanding wines at the J.M. da Fonseca winery? Perhaps it is their venerable, centuries-old history, their considerable breadth of experience across Portugal’s top viticultural regions, or their commitment to the people and land behind each bottle. For seven generations, J.M. da Fonseca wines have been enjoyed around the world. It is this dedication to quality production year after year that makes this family the leading ambassadors for dine Portuguese wines.

José Maria da Fonseca started his namesake company in 1834 in the Setúbal Peninsula, Portugal’s stunningly beautiful coastal region. Starting with the production of Moscatels de Setúbal, sweet, fortified wines, for which Fonseca helped earn the D.O.C. status for, he quickly started gaining recognition at home and abroad. Forward thinking and adventurous, Fonseca made history in 1850 when he bottled the first still Portuguese red wine from his Periquita vineyard. So impressed by the quality of Periquita and the portfolio of wines, the then King of Portugal bestowed royal order on "the winery facilities of Mr. Fonseca in recognition of their modernity, cleanliness and efficiency." Fortunately for the rest of the wine loving world, the family has taken this order very seriously and continues to execute all aspects of winemaking with absolute dedication, care and innovation.

Throughout the generations, J.M. da Fonseca has expanded into some of Portugal’s top viticultural regions, including Domini and Domini Plus from the Douro Valley in the north and José de Sousa and Ripanço, in the southern Alentejo region. The largest vineyard holdings are in Setúbal, home to the Periquita range of wines. The Villa Nogueira de Azetão estate, where the vineyards are planted, lie a short distance from Lisbon, across the Tagus River. Here, vineyards enjoy the benefits of a sun-drenched maritime climate and a varied soil composition that incorporates elements of sand, clay and lime.

Sixth generation and head winemaker, Domingos Soares Franco, along with his team of enologists, have undertaken a wide range of research, experiments and innovative techniques that continues to shape and progress Portuguese viticulture. Promoting these efforts is seventh generation António Maria Soares Franco, nephew of Domingos, who leads the marketing and commercial components of the winery. Tireless ambassadors, António, Domingos and the entire J.M. da Fonseca winery family work hard to produce and promote fine Portuguese wines around the world, as they have for nearly 200 years.

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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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Other Red Blends

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With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.

NDF849951_2015 Item# 384484