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2003 Fonseca Vintage Port

SKU #1018205 97 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Saturated deep ruby. Brooding, reticent nose of cassis and kirsch; there's nothing cooked about this one! Then massive, sweet and superrich in the mouth; explodes with exotic ripeness. Intriguing note of graphite. This coats every nook and cranny of the palate and clings and builds on the back end in a way that no other wine of this vintage can match. Huge, sexy and wonderfully lush Fonseca, built for the long haul. As impressive as the best 2000s, and, along with the Quinta do Noval Nacional, is an early candidate for port of the 2003 vintage. (ST)  (2/2006)

97 points Wine Enthusiast

 Fonseca vintage Ports are always among the most attractive and long-lived. This 2003 conforms magnificently to that model. It is structured, rich, powerful and opulent. There are cassis and black fig flavors, as well as sweet tannins. It is delicious already, and will remain delicious throughout its long life. (RV)  (11/2005)

96 points Wine Spectator

 Lots of grape and raisin on the nose. Full-bodied, chewy and lightly sweet. Serious concentration, with lots of grip on the finish. Just what to expect from a young Vintage Port. (JS)  (4/2006)

95 points Wine & Spirits

 This is a beauty right now. Violet in color, scent and texture, Fonseca uses all the plumpness of the vintage to best advantage. It glistens with freshness, with long, dark fruit flavors held in place almost invisibly by the persistence of tannin. The schisty scent of smoke off broken rock gives the structure its electricity, and, with the freshness of the fruit, will sustain the wine for decades.  (12/2009)

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 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. (MS)  (8/2017)

Jancis Robinson

 Dark crimson. Lifted, appetising note of putty on the nose. Very round and luscious. Pure pleasure and none of the angularity of some 2003s. But perhaps not as reticent as some vintage Fonsecas. Even a hint of coconut. Finishes just a teensy bit dry. 18/20 points (JR)  (11/2011)


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Additional Information:

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.
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.