2003 Fonseca Porto Vintage
2003 Fonseca Porto Vintage
The 1994 vintage of this wine was ranked #1 on the Wine Spectator’s Top 10 Wines of 1997
Fonseca vintage ports are renowned for their great fruit richness and voluptuousness, and, while powerful and mouthfilling, for their breed and balance. In the context of each vintage, they combine the tannic dimension and “grip” which give great port its longevity with the structure and complexity that are Fonseca’s hallmark. Among the Douro’s first growths, Fonseca Vintage Port is clearly the “P?trus” of Port.
“Sporting an opaque, black-colored robe with dark purple trim, the 2003 Fonseca Vintage Port exhibits a nose of profound depth. Its sweet black mass of dark fruit and spice aromas leads to a character of immense depth, richness, and weight. Full-bodied, viscous, and almost impenetrable, this dense, backward port is powerful and exceptionally long in the finish. Possibly the most masculine Fonseca I’ve ever encountered, it coats the taster’s palate with licorice, jammy black fruits, and notes of chocolate that last for over a minute. This blockbuster will require at least three decades to fully blossom. Anticipated maturity: 2035-2060.”
“Wild aromas, with flowers, blackberries and passion fruit. Full-bodied, massive on the palate. Medium-sweet. The finish goes on for minutes. A mega young Port. Fonseca. What do you expect? Score range: 95-100”
–Wine Spectator Barrel Sample
Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate (94/100)
The 2003 Vintage Port comes in with 92 grams per liter of residual sugar. This is a big boy in terms of voluptuous fruit, but (at least as double decanted overnight), it is drinkable now, even if it still tightens noticeably as it sits in the glass. Make no mistake, though?it is nowhere near peak. This rather dry Fonseca is big and fat, yet there is also some concept of balance here, surprisingly. This very warm vintage wasn’t exactly shy. The concentration easily counters the power, and it steadily acquired better balance as it sat and aired. In terms of complexity, there’s no there there yet, if you’ll allow the Gertrude Stein summary. In that sense, at least, it is far too young and needs another decade. Winemaker David Guimaraens told me that he thinks his grandchildren will be able to enjoy it, so there is no rush. Cellar this for another decade, at the least, more like 20 years if you like them softer and more complex. This will still improve, but it has some more questions to answer in the cellar. The price reflects current availability. Korbrand, the importer, indicated limited stocks are available in the USA as well as Portugal. There may be an official re-release as well.