Fonseca Vintage Port 1977
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 Fonsecas hallmark. Among the Douros first growths, Fonseca Vintage Port is clearly the ""Pétrus"" of Port. In exceptional years Fonseca will make the decision to ‘declare’ a classic vintage port. Only the finest wines, selected for their great intensity, depth and aging potential, are bottled under these vintage labels. On average this happens three times a decade. Renowned for their voluptuous rich fruit, mouthfilling density, tannic structure and ‘grip’, they are wines of breed, balance and great complexity. A grand slam. Deep ruby with a slightly red edge; intense black cherry and raspberry nose; full-bodied; masses of fruit; full tannins; an extremely long finish. This can age indefinitely.
Its a shame that I only had the opportunity to taste this legendary vintage too early - in the early 1980's. Even then it was clearly a stellar port: rich, fruity, powerful - a vintage to lay down for decades...even the next generation.
I had been saving this bottle for a couple of years, and unexpectedly opened it during a crazy afternoon of great conversation and excellent company. Just perfect combination for an excellent wine, this port indeed has layer upon layer of flavor. At first tasting, there is almost so much flavor and fruit that my palate is overwhelmed and I have to let the wine sit around for a minute for my senses to acclimate. At the second taste, it is of sweet, complex wine, with many intermingling flavors, and there is no way to describe how "deep" this flavor goes. It's remarkable.
External Reviews for Fonseca Vintage Port
Fonseca vintage ports are marked by a style of great fruit richness, voluptuousness and firm tannic backbone. Their initial flavors of opulently concentrated black fruit and jammy spice evolve to reveal complex, silky impressions of dried currants,
Fonseca is one of the great port lodges, producing the most exotic and most complex port. If Fonseca lacks the sheer weight and power of a Taylor, Dow or Warre, or the opulent sweetness and intensity of a Graham, it excels in its magnificently comple... Robert Parker's Wine Advocate. A Port wine from Douro in Portugal. 1977 Fonseca Vintage Port 750ml
Fonseca is one of the great port lodges, producing the most exotic and most complex port. If Fonseca lacks the sheer weight and power of a Taylor, Dow or Warre, or the opulent sweetness and intensity of a Graham, it excels in its magnificently complex, intense bouquet of plummy, cedary, spicy fruit and long, broad, expansive flavors. With its lush, seductive character, one might call it the Pomerol of Vintage ports. When it is young, it often loses out in blind tastings to the heavier, weightier, more tannic wines, but I always find myself upgrading my opinion of Fonseca after it has had 7-10 years of age. The 1977 has developed magnificently in the bottle, and while it clearly needs another decade to reach its summit, it is the best Fonseca since the 1970 and 1963.
This was the grand finale on the fabulous first evening at The Woodlands at Nemacolin Resort in PA. We did not do it justice as this needs LOTS of decanting time and this was my fault, as it did not get decanted ahead and I should have mentioned that prior to our departure from Pittsburgh. Anyway, it did get nearly five hours of decanting ... but that is not enough for a youngster of this caliber, which easily handles 7-9 hours of time in decanter. It is so big and youthful, with potent tannins that come to the fore. Given the short duration of time, I was able to ignore the spirit that was present. Medium to dark ruby, this fine Fonseca showed it's muscle and grip and displayed distinct, ripe raspberry tang. The finish excelled in its length and persistence. Score: 94, which is way below the norm and this only had to do with the decanting time of this particular bottle.