Profile of Fonseca Guimaraens Port

Considered by top wine experts to be the “Petrus of Port,” Fonseca is quite definitely one of the best Ports in the world. Fonseca Guimaraens was established in 1822 when Manuel Pedro Guimaraens acquired control of the Fonseca & Monteiro Company. Of Brazilian origin, the Fonseca family had been involved in the 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 selling his shares to Guimaraens, the Fonsecas stipulated that their name is 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), the 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 has experience winemaking in Australia, California, and Oregon. He is the current head winemaker for tailors and Croft as well. Fonseca manages to stand out slightly from the rest of the Port Houses as 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 details

Fonseca Guimaraens Port

Quinta do Panascal
5120-496 Valença do Douro
Tel +351 254 732 321
Fax +351 254 731 346

David Guimaraens
The Fladgate Partnership
Grape varietals
Touriga Nacional, Touriga Francesa, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Cao, Tinta Barroca, Tinta Amarela.

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