Fonseca Guimaraens Port Winery

Fonseca Guimaraens Port Winery, Port - Portugal

Considered by top wine experts to be the "Petrus of Port", Fonseca is quite definitely one of the best Ports in the world. The company of Fonseca Guimaraens was established in 1822, when Manuel Pedro Guimaraens acquired control of the Fonseca & Monteiro Company. The Fonseca family, of Brazilian origin, had been involved in trade (primarily in wine, but also olive oil and cloth, which they exchanged in Brazil for sugar cane and hemp from the colonies). As a condition of the sale of his shares to Guimaraens, the Fonsecas stipulated that their name be retained as a brand name for whoever should own the business. Over the next twenty years, assisted by his oldest son, Manuel Fonseca Guimaraens, Manuel Pedro developed the important British, Dutch, Belgian and Scandinavian markets. By 1840, Fonseca was the second largest exporter of port wines and near the end of that decade, the firm shipped its first vintage port, the 1847, to England.

Despite becoming part of the bigger Fladgate Partnership group (which also owns Taylors and Croft), family has played an important part in every Fonseca Vintage Port since the beginning. Frank Guimaraens was the winemaker from 1896 until 1948, his daughter, Dorothy Guimaraens, following his death, made the wines until 1955. Bruce Duncan Guimaraens, the great-great grandson of the founder, made every Vintage from 1960 to 1992, and was followed by his son, David Guimaraens, in 1994. David is a prodigy winemaker who formalized his education in enology at Roseworthy Agricultural College in South Australia and who has experience winemaking in Australia, California and Oregon. He is the current head winemaker for tailors and Croft as well. Fonseca manage to stand out slightly from the rest of the Port Houses as being that extra bit special. The best way to possibly appreciate the wine would be to taste it at the historic Quinta (winery), drinking in the history, the dramatic scenery and of course, spectacular Port Wines.

Wines Produced

Siroco White Port A full, dry white port with a superb balance of ripe fruit extract, delicate acidity and elegant notes of wood aging; finishing with an attractive, refreshing crispness.
Fonseca Bin 27, Premium Reserve Produced mainly from wines from Fonseca's own quintas in the Cima Corgo, and blended from reserve wines selected for their superb fruit character and depth of color. Rich, velvety full body and luscious blackcurrant and cherry flavours
10 Year Old Tawny Of an average cask age of ten years, it is a young port of russet color with brilliant crimson highlights and a fragrant, ripe-fruit bouquet. Its smooth, silky texture and subtle oak nuances are balanced by a fresh acidity and tannic 'grip' that culminate in a long, elegant finish.
LBV: Late Bottled Vintage A robust, old-fashioned LBV with exceptional body and grip produced primarily from foot-trodden wines from Fonseca's vineyards. It is intense, firm and long on the finish, with impressive depth and complexity in the rich Fonseca style.
Quinta Do Panascal The decision to bottle a Quinta do Vintage is taken when the wine is judged to be of exceptional quality. The wine will spend two years ageing in vat before being bottled and will be released when it is ready to drink, normally 10 years after the harvest. These wines are lovely and intense and show great fruit, balance and structure.
Guimaraens Vintage In years when Fonseca does not 'declare' a classic vintage, it selects the finest grapes from its own vineyards to yield a small quantity of this superb wine, which is produced exactly as a declared Fonseca Vintage. Beautifully structured and perfectly balanced.
Classic Vintage In exceptional years Fonseca will 'declare' a classic vintage port. Only the finest wines, selected for their great intensity, depth and aging potential, are bottled under these labels. This happens about three times a decade. They are famed for being wines of breed, balance and great complexity

Winery Facts & Figures

DOC: Porto
Founded: 1822
Owner: The Fladgate Partnership
Managing Director:Adrian Bridge
Winemaker: David Guimaraens
Vineyards: Quinta de Cruzeiro, Quinta de San Antonio, Quinta do Panescal
Grape Varietals: All the principal Port Grape Varieties including: Touriga Nacional, Touriga Francesa, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Cao, Tinta Barroca, Tinta Amarela.

These grapes account for 91.3 percent of the Fonseca quintas' total plantings, ave. yield, over the three properties, of only 24.2 hectolitres per hectare

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