Fonseca’s three vineyards—Quinta do Panascal, Quinta de Cruzeiro and Quinta de Santo António—all form the backbone of the famous Fonseca Vintage Portos, produced only in vintages that are “declared” as being of the highest quality. Fonseca is recognized across the Douro as a leader of viticultural practices for Porto and has spearheaded development of organic and sustainable programs across the region. The fruit for Fonseca’s Vintage Portos is trod by foot in granite lagares on the estate. Fermentation is halted by the addition of grape spirits before all the residual sugar has been fermented, creating a sweet, fortified wine. The wine is aged for two years in oak before being bottled unfiltered.

98 Points
Wine Enthusiast
2017 vintage
97 Points
Wine Spectator Insider
2017 vintage
Harvest Note
In spite of a cold and dry start to the year, the first buds appeared earlier than usual, around March 10th. Spring remained dry with only about 3 inches of rain falling in Pinhão in April. These conditions accelerated vine growth, bringing on an early flowering at the beginning of May. June saw very high temperatures and véraison started much earlier than usual around the 18th. Temperatures eased somewhat in August, bringing relatively cool nights. Predictably, the crop reached maturity very early. Quinta do Panascal was the first Fonseca property to start picking on 6th September 6th. The two Pinhão Valley estates, Cruzeiro and Santo António, followed on 10th and 17th respectively. These were the earliest picking dates in a generation. The thick-skinned grapes yield very dense musts, with impressive depth of color. Although the volume of production was low overall, a high proportion of the wines made were of exceptional quality and their promise was apparent from an early stage.
Tasting Note
A narrow magenta ring around a core of purple black. The nose opens with a burst of dark, woodland fruit, dense and succulent with fresh, vibrant red berry aromas. A slatey minerality holds this exuberant fruitiness in check. The nose reveals leafy, balsamic scents and cedary notes. The first impression on the palate is of tightly packed, dense dark berry fruit, which then explodes on the mid-palate and surges into the long finish. The texture is round and velvety but the taut, sinewy tannins and crisp acidity provide firmness and structure. The layered, complex fruit holds sway over this weighty, powerful wine.
Food Pairing
Pairs well with blue cheeses like Stilton or Roquefort and desserts of dark chocolate or berries. Should be decanted before serving due to sediment.
Technical Data
GRAPES: Touriga Nacional, Touriga Francesa, Tinto Cão, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Barroca
APPELLATION: Douro
PH: 3.9
ACIDITY: 4.1 g/l
ABV: 20%
AGING: Aged for 2 years in large, conditioned French oak vats before bottling. Will continue to age in bottle for decades.
RESIDUAL SUGAR: 98 g/l
Unique Selling Points
  • A Vintage Porto made only in the finest years
  • Made from fruit grown in Fonseca’s own estate vineyards
  • A collectible Porto that will develop for decades in the bottle

About the Grape

Tinta Amarela
Tinta Amarela makes wines with intensely perfumed aromas of blackberry and tea, bold structure, deep color and excellent depth.
Tinta Barroca
Used to make Port wines, this high yielding grape has very high sugar content, which makes wines with pronounced floral character, good structure and firm, ripe tannins.
Tinta Cão
This grape has blackberry, game and meaty aromas, and contributes longevity and exceptional elegance to the blend of Port wines.
Tinta Roriz
Tinta Roriz produces deep-colored grapes of moderate acidity which make bold wines with firm tannins, excellent complexity and distinctive resin-like fragrance.
Touriga Franca
This grape has high tannins and is very aromatic; it lends structure and balance to Port wines. It shows intense fresh red fruit, earth and flower aromas, and is very fruity on the palate.
Touriga Nacional
Touriga Nacional produces wine with finesse, body and warmth that is dark, concentrated, massively tannic and aromatic. It ages to show the complex aromas typically found in mature vintage port.
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