1985 Fonseca Vintage Port

SKU #980020 93 points Wine Spectator

 Very dark and youthful ruby-purple. Very intense aromas of blackberry and black licorice. Full-bodied and lightly sweet, with chewy tannins and a rich licorice, blackberry undertone. Still tight. Drinkable now, but it needs a few more years. (Web-2008)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 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 1985 looks to be one of the top successes of the vintage, yet I believe both the superb 1983 and the otherworldly 1977 are far superior. Dense ruby/purple with the Oriental spice-box aroma, the 1985 is an expansive, sweet, broadly flavored wine with outstanding depth, concentration, and balance. It finishes with a solid lashing of alcohol and tannin.  (1/ 1989)

Jancis Robinson

 The 1985 vintage was preceded by an exceptionally cold, wet winter, with night temperatures well below freezing in early January. Berry set was excellent and the young bunches perfectly formed. The summer was hot throughout the region, with no rainfall during July and August. Fonseca picked earlier than most other shippers and the harvest was brought in under ideal conditions before the rain which fell later in the month of September. Conditions were ideal for fermentation resulting in must of exceptional colour and weight. Bottled in 1987. Round, rich and firm. Liquorice and freshness. (17.5/20 points)  (10/ 2012)

K&L Notes

5 stars Michael Broadbent: "Deep, intense; malty; powerful, great potential; well endowed with fruit, alcohol and tannin for longevity. My style of wine. Magnificent."

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Varietal:

Other Red Wines

Country:

Portugal

- Although quite small, Portugal produces a great variety of wines ranging from light and fizzy Vinho Verde to hearty and tannic Port. Portugal is Europe's fourth-largest wine-producing region, and has been exporting its wine since the 14th century. The Douro Valley of Portugal is the original and current home for the world's finest Port. The valley spans from east of the city of Oporto all the way to the border of Spain and is the country's best known wine region. Lesser-appreciated DOCs like Bairrada and Dão area also emerging for their fine, rustic reds. Click for a list of bestselling items from Portugal.
Sub-Region:

Port

- Port is a fortified wine made by stopping the fermentation with brandy. The result is a heavy sweet wine, most often red, that is dense, rich and high in alcohol. Port is made all over the world with some great results in Australia and South Africa, but the most famous of these dessert wines come from Portugal. The great port houses (or lodges) are located along the Duoro River on the steep slate slopes high above the valley floor. There are several styles of port, including Ruby, Tawny, Vintage Character, Late Bottle Vintage, Colheita, and Single Quinta. Vintage ports are made in special years that the houses declare. View our bestselling Port.