1985 Fonseca Vintage Port
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)
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.
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)
5 stars Michael Broadbent: "Deep, intense; malty; powerful, great potential; well endowed with fruit, alcohol and tannin for longevity. My style of wine. Magnificent."