Fonseca 2009 Vintage Port
Fonseca Vintage Port 2009
Fonseca belongs in the first rank of Vintage Port houses. It is recognised for the stylistic consistency of its wines which have been made by five generations of the same family since the firm’s foundation in 1822. Fonseca Vintage Ports are noted for their expressive, luscious fruitiness, which develops great opulence and complexity with age, as well as a voluptuous roundness on the palate supported by velvety mouth-filling tannins.
Fonseca Vintage Ports are often the preferred choice of the enthusiast and connoisseur, wines born of inspired and passionate winemaking and a thorough understanding of viticulture and terroir.

Fonseca Vintage Ports are produced from grapes grown on the firm’s own estates or ‘quintas’. The most famous of these is Quinta do Panascal, a historic property long recognised as the source of some of the finest wines in the Douro Valley.
The Fonseca 2009 blend is based on wines from Quinta do Panascal and Quinta do Cruzeiro. There is also a small amount of wine from Quinta de Santo António, the first time that the estate has contributed to a classic vintage port blend since it was converted to organic viticulture.

Commenting on the 2009s, Head winemaker David Guimaraens noted: “2009 will be remembered as a year of low yields which produced wines of massive density and scale. This was partly the result of the small amount of fruit produced across all grape varieties and also to the very dry summer during which there was almost no rainfall from July to harvest time in September.”

Fonseca

Blender Mario Araújo, who celebrates his 50th year working in the Fonseca tasting room, noted: ‘This is one of the most impressive young vintage ports that I can remember. In many ways it reminds me of the 1970 with its firm tannins and powerful fruit.’

Fonseca’s CEO Adrian Bridge, remarked: “I am delighted to announce that Fonseca will bottle a declared vintage port from 2009. It is very unusual to have a string of four great vintages in a decade. This is a reminder that, although we can tip the balance in our favour through investment in our vineyards, ultimately it is nature which is in control.”

The 2009 viticultural year started early with the first buds appearing within the first few days of March. Vegetative growth was healthy and vigorous but vine fertility was low, with all varieties producing only a small amount of fruit. The colouring of the grapes (véraison) also started earlier than usual. The relatively cool conditions in July meant that ripening was initially slow but this accelerated in August with the onset of very hot weather. Both July and August were extremely dry, with hardly any rainfall, and the arid conditions continued into September. The harvest on the Fonseca properties began relatively early. The first property to start picking was Quinta do Panascal where the harvest started on 10th September. The two Pinhão Valley properties, Cruzeiro and Santo António, followed a few days later on 15th and 20th September respectively. The reduced yields, resulting from low vine productivity and the very dry summer, resulted in dense and concentrated musts with high levels of tannin, sugar and colour.


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TASTING NOTES
Impenetrable black colour. A classic Fonseca nose dominated by an exuberant, hedonistic fruitiness, a powerful redolence of dark dense blackberry and blackcurrant which slowly releases a heady mix of spicy and herbal aromas, seductive notes of coffee and cocoa, hints of prune and wild scents of gumcistus. The thick velvety tannins give the wine a voluptuous density, integrating effortlessly with the sumptuous infusion of blackberry jam, dark chocolate and liquorice which coats the palate. The tannins are also present on the finish which brims with blackberry and blackcurrant flavour.
Accolades
Wine & Spirits Magazine, Buying Guide 2013, October 2012
he voluptuous 2009 vintage seems to play right into Fonseca’s house style, creating a tool, concentrated wine...
The voluptuous 2009 vintage seems to play right into Fonseca’s house style, creating a tool, concentrated wine. There’s a schist grip of tannins and a fine cut of acidity to balance chewy blueberry jam flaors. Darker notes of roasted black cherries and brighter strawberry layer detail into the finish.
93 points
Wine Spectator, July 31, 2012
This is gorgeously vibrant and grapey, with good cut to the luscious dark fruit and cedar flavors....
This is gorgeously vibrant and grapey, with good cut to the luscious dark fruit and cedar flavors that are flanked by zesty acidity and tannins. A touch brooding midpalate, with a minerally rush and a finish of slate and iron. Best from 2016 through 2036.
95 points
Steven Spurrier, Decanter August 2011
...spicy, dense fruit with an iron spine behind the richness, energy and sweetness in Fonseca’s robust style, 2019 -2039
...spicy, dense fruit with an iron spine behind the richness, energy and sweetness in Fonseca’s robust style, 2019 -2039
19 points
Luís Antunes, Revista de Vinhos, Julho 2011
Aromas de lagar, passas, chocolate, fruta preta e cristalizada, caramelo de frutas, complexo, tenso e profundo.
Aromas de lagar, passas, chocolate, fruta preta e cristalizada, caramelo de frutas, complexo, tenso e profundo. Muito encorpado, vigoroso e tex- turado, taninos sólidos, acidez viva, cheio de equilíbrio e personalidade.
Pontos 18,5
Wine Enthusiast, December 2011
A classic Fonseca, rich and powerful, with just an edge of weight from the vintage.
A classic Fonseca, rich and powerful, with just an edge of weight from the vintage. It has a dry character, a tannic edge that gives great promise, but the open-hearted fruit is all there. A wonderfully intense wine for ageing.
95 points
Rui Falcão, Revista Wine, Julho 2011
Cor preta absolutamente impenetrável. Nariz efusivo e alegre, muito mais frutado, hedonista e exuberante que o habitual na Fonseca....
Cor preta absolutamente impenetrável. Nariz efusivo e alegre, muito mais frutado, hedonista e exuberante que o habitual na Fonseca, arremessando notas de amora e ameixa preta, deixando as especiarias e o chocolate para o fundo do copo, num registo mais retraído. Denso e sedoso, voluptuoso nos taninos suaves, não se cansa de expressar a fruta de forma entusiástica, com uma desenvoltura e descaramento que animam a alma.
Pontos 18,5
Neal Martin, www.erobertparker.com, May 2011
The Fonseca 2009 has a very ripe sweet prune and fig-tinged bouquet that is very precocious.
The Fonseca 2009 has a very ripe sweet prune and fig-tinged bouquet that is very precocious. Touches of smoke, raisin and dark plum begin to emerge with time, though it needs to evolve a little more cohesion. The palate is full-bodied with saturated tannins, luscious dark berried fruit, touches of pomegranate, fig and dates that lead to a gently grippy, persistent finish. This is a fine Fonseca, but I wanted it to give me more flamboyance and brio. Tasted May 2011.
Score 93
Jamie Goode, Wineanorak.com, May 2011
Smooth, ripe, aromatic nose is lush and rich, with ripe – almost creamy – blackcurrant and raspberry fruit.
Smooth, ripe, aromatic nose is lush and rich, with ripe – almost creamy – blackcurrant and raspberry fruit. Very sweet on the palate yet lively, vibrant and fresh, showing broad texture and some appealing tannic grip. Fine grained yet firm tannins combine well with very sweet fruit.
94–96/100
Jancis Robinson, Purple Pages, May 2011
Blackish purple. Heady, opulent nose - really very winning indeed already!
Blackish purple. Heady, opulent nose - really very winning indeed already! But on the palate there seems to be just a slight hole in the middle, a lack of sheer fruit weight. Long and vibrato on the finish though until an extremely dry note on the very end. This reminds me of a fortified version of a 2003 right bank bordeaux.
Score 17.5+. Drink 2030-50
Will Lyons, The Wall Street Journal, May 2011
Dark black/purple this immediately impresses with a nose replete with juicy red fruit notes such as blackcurrant.
Dark black/purple this immediately impresses with a nose replete with juicy red fruit notes such as blackcurrant. In the mouth it is a little richer and more forward than the Taylor’s with a refined texture. A seriously impressive wine.
Richard Mayson, richardmayson.com, May 2011
Very good colour, deep and opaque; closed on the nose, much more restrained than Taylor, underlying tight-knit cassis-like fruit underlying, just a touch roasted perhaps.
Very good colour, deep and opaque; closed on the nose, much more restrained than Taylor, underlying tight-knit cassis-like fruit underlying, just a touch roasted perhaps; again very elegant, gentle initially, firm with peppery tannins rising in the mouth, quite dry in style, lovely suave cassis fruit showing through on the finish. More my style than Taylor. Very promising.
Score 18.5
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