Picking began at Quinta do Panascal on September 6, the two other quintas in Pinhão that form the 2017 Fonseca Vintage Port, Cruzeiro and Santo António picked on 10 and 17 September respectively. One of the deepest, most opaque color amongst the new Port alumni, it has one of the most backward, almost recalcitrant noses that demands a lot of aeration. It gradually opens to reveal blackberry, melted tar, thyme, clove and violet aromas that are well defined, if maybe just missing the same breeding as Taylor’s. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin. This is fresh and detailed, a slightly more structured Fonseca than expected, quite strict at first with good grip and a lightly spiced, precise finish. Powerful and long on the aftertaste, you can feel this Fonseca 60 seconds after the wine has exited. It deserves 10-15 years in bottle. Excellent, but patience required. The most enigmatic of the 2017 Vintage Ports. Total production is 8,100 cases.
|Score: 95||Neal Martin, vinous.com, June 2019|
Dark and dense, with fig bread, baker's chocolate and tar notes leading off before the core flavors of plum, black currant and blackberry paste finally start to emerge. The wild, spirited finish shows cast iron, licorice snap and roasted alder elements, delivering a decidedly chewy feel. A big, old-school, throwback Port that will age at a glacial pace. Best from 2035 through 2060. 1,000 cases imported. — JM
|Score: 97||James Molesworth, WineSpectator.com, May 2019|
The 2017 Vintage Port, not quite bottled when seen but the final blend, is a field blend (with typical grapes like Touriga Nacional, Touriga Francesca, Tinto Cão, Tinta Roriz and Tinta Barroca) aged for approximately 20 months in used French oak. It comes in with 98 grams of residual sugar, a little drier on paper than its Taylor sibling this year. Sappy and sensational in flavor and fruit, this seemingly has moderate tannins around the edges on first taste, velvety texture and a long finish. Despite the first impression of moderation, there is plenty of power here. As it got some aeration, it showed nothing but power and closed down fairly hard. The combination of great fruit and fine structure makes this a potentially great Fonseca, but right now it is obviously immature and not showing everything it has. I'd recommend some patience here. 2030 - 2075
|Score: 96/98||Mark Squires, Wine Advocate (July 2019 ), July 2019|
Deep purple in colour, this has a dense, brooding note of black fruit and a hint of peppery warmth underneath the savoury dried herbs. The palate is chalky, rich and structured. Drier in style than the Taylors, this has a rich mouthfeel and savoury edge to the ripe black fruit at the core. The tannins build through the mid palate, adding weight and power to the fruit. Long and fine on the finish, this will need at least two decades to soften, but it should be very long lived.
|Score: 18||Farr Vintners, Farr Tasting, June 2019|
The last back-to-back Fonseca vintage was 1933/1934: open and in its first bloom of youth with lovely aromatic red berry fruit and floral aromas, a touch leafy too: soft and fleshy initially, seemingly not as big as Taylor’s (and not quite so deep in colour), firm, ripe linear tannins rising in the mouth, well defined with berry fruit remerging on the finish. Lovely freshness. Already beautifully integrated, showing great purity and poise.
|Score: 18||Richard Mayson, richardmayson.com, May 2019|