Vintageport.se

Est. 2011

Fonseca

Fonseca Guimaraens - Vinhos SA

Founded 1822
Owner Fladgate Partnership (Taylor-Fonseca Group)
Vineyards Quinta do Panascal, Quinta do Santo António, Quinta do Cruzeiro, Quinta do Val dos Muros (bought in 1985)
Vintage Port Brands Fonseca, Fonseca Guimaraens, Quinta do Panascal, Quinta do Mileu

The prehistory of the firm of Fonseca Guimaraens lies in the late 1700s, in a company known as Fonseca & Monteiro, located in Oporto. The Fonseca family was of Brazilian origin, and conducted its trade in wine, foodstuffs, olive oil and cloth primarily with Brazil in exchange for sugar cane, hemp and snuff from the colonies.

The present firm, however, was not formally founded until 1822, when Manuel Pedro Guimaraens acquired control of the company through purchase of the majority of the Fonseca holdings. Born on June 6th, 1798, in the town of Sao Romão da Ucha, Barcelos, Manuel Pedro travelled extensively to Brazil, both for his own account and that of Fonseca & Monteiro. By the 1820s, Fonseca & Monteiro dealt solely in Port wines. As a condition of the sale of his shares to young Guimaraens, the departing Fonseca stipulated that his name be retained not only as a brand name, but also as a family name for whoever should own the business. Records of the company's early years under ‘MPG’, as he is affectionately called by his descendants, were largely destroyed during the years of political upheaval which plagued Portugal until the mid-1830s. It is known that Angelica Monteiro and Joao dos Santos Fonseca held some interest in the company until the beginning of that decade. More, however, is known about Manuel Pedro Guimaraens' political activities. By age 21 he had already become deeply involved in the liberal movement which swept Europe in the wake of the French Revolution of 1789. When the civil war known as ‘The War of Two Brothers’, broke out between the reigning absolutist, Dom Miguel, and supporters of his liberalist brother, Dom Pedro, Manuel Pedro was already a close friend and ally of the liberal militant leaders in northern Portugal. Forced to flee the country several times, in 1834 he departed Portugal for the last time, smuggled aboard a ship bound for London in an empty port pipe. Exiled in London, he continued his advocacy of the Liberal cause before the Court of Saint James and Parliament, and organized a system through which funds could secretly be channeled from Portugal to Portuguese political refugees throughout Europe. The success of the liberal revolution of 1832 was so greatly aided by Manuel Pedro's contribution that in 1835, Portugal's new queen, Dona Maria da Gloria II, named him Member and later Knight Commander of the Order of Christ. Though by this time married to a British woman and permanently settled in London, Manuel Pedro Guimaraens never relinquished his Portuguese citizenship. Still staunchly patriotic, he divided the hours not devoted to Fonseca, Monteiro & Guimaraens among politics, lavish entertaining and an expertise on pelargonium, which led him to become one of the early members of the Royal Botanical Society. The headquarters of his rapidly expanding company were moved to London.

The firm shipped its first vintage port, the 1847, to England. In 1862, following Manuel Pedro's death in 1858, Manuel Fonseca and his two younger brothers, Pedro Gonçalves and Fredrico Alexandre, bought out the Monteiro interest and amalgamated the British and Portuguese branches of the firm, which for political reasons had until then been separated and named it M.P. Guimaraens & Sons.

While Quinta de Terra Feita was under contract with Fonseca to supply port, the 1909 and 1911 vintages were released under the Quinta de Terra Feita label and not under a Fonseca label. In 1927 the London office was dissolved and the headquarters re-established in Portugal. 1931 is considered to be the first vintage under the Fonseca-Guimaraens label. 1931 was also sold as Fonseca Special Reserve and the vintages 1933 and 1934 were released under both Fonseca and Fonseca-Guimaraens labels. However, after that, the company decided to use just one label for each vintage year.

Over the next two decades, the exceptional consistency and worldwide reputation for quality of Fonseca Ports was perpetuated by Patrick Guimaraens, who remained the company's promoter in London, and his cousin Frank Guimaraens, who controlled production in Vila Nova de Gaia.

In 1948, the difficulties of the war years led to a consolidation of ownership of Fonseca Guimaraens with Taylor, Fladgate & Yeatman.

Fonseca may indeed be unique in the annals of Port in that every Fonseca Vintage Port, with the exception of the 1955, produced by Dorothy Guimaraens, was made by one of three persons: Frank Guimaraens, from the 1896 through the 1948 vintage; and Bruce Duncan Guimaraens, Winemaker and greatgreat grandson of the founder, from the 1960 vintage to 1995 when his son David took over. This remarkable continuity of winemaker is clearly evident in the wine. Consistency of style has remained one of the fundamental principles of the Fonseca philosophy since its founding.

It must be remembered that Fonseca-Guimaraens is not a single quinta vintages, but a blend from the same quinta as the classic Fonseca vintage come from and made in years which are not classic.

The Fladgate Partnership company always declare their Vintage Ports on St George’s day (23 April).

The Quinta do Cruzeiro has for decades been the heart of Fonseca's vintage ports. In 1973, the company purchased this superb property from the heirs of the recently deceased proprietor. They have also started making a Single Quinta Vintage port from this quinta.

In 1978 Fonseca acquired the Quinta do Panascal, a substantial property located in the spectacularly beautiful Tavora Valley to the south of the Douro River.

The third Fonseca property, the Quinta de Santo Antonio, has also long been a traditional source for Fonseca's vintage ports and was purchased in 1979.

Fonseca Vintages:1834, 1840, 1844, 1846, 1847, 1851, 1854, 1863, 1865, 1868, 1870, 1872, 1873, 1878, 1881, 1884, 1887, 1890, 1892, 1896, 1900, 1904, 1906, 1908, 1912, 1920, 1922, 1924, 1927, 1931, 1933, 1934, 1937*, 1942, 1945, 1947 (Berry Bros), 1948, 1955, 1960, 1963, 1966, 1970, 1975, 1977, 1980, 1983, 1985, 1992, 1994, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2007, 2009, 2011
Fonseca Guimaraens Vintages:1919, 1931, 1933, 1934, 1942*, 1943, 1944, 1946*, 1952, 1954, 1957, 1958, 1961, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1972, 1974, 1976, 1978, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1991, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2012, 2013
Quinta do Panascal Vintages:1904 (Bottled by George Sotheby), 1977*, 1978*, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1991, 1996, 1998, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2008
Quinta do Cruzeiro Vintages:1978, 1982
Quinta do Milieu Vintages:1944* (Guimaraens), 1946, 1947, 1958

Vintage Port tasting notes:

HouseFonsecaVintage1934
ColourMature beautiful tawny in colour.Number of tastings3
BouquetVery complex bouquet of coffee, tea, old grocery shop and much more.Score range16.75 - 17.50
TasteMedium body. Mature. Elegant burned sugar in flavour. Wonderful finish. An unbelievable port.Average score17.08
Last tasted20th September 2007Point this date17.50
CommentAt the Wine Society 18% tasting in Malmö.
TastersSAI, JB, SS
HouseFonsecaVintage1945
ColourBrilliant, beautiful and mature in colour.Number of tastings1
BouquetComplex and attractive bouquet of coffee, raisin, tea and much more.Score range
TasteFull-bodied. Mature and on top. Crème caramel in taste. Complex and balanced finish. An unbelievable port.Average score
Last tasted10th June 1998Point this date17.50
CommentAt the Wine Society 18% tasting in Malmö.
TastersSAI
HouseFonsecaVintage1947
ColourDark yellow mature in colour.Number of tastings1
BouquetBoysenberry, dried fruit, melon, red and dark berry in the nose.Score range17.00 - 17.00
TasteAlmost full-bodied. Mature and peaking. Boysenberry and some mushroom in the taste. Elegant, balanced, complex and very attractive port with a quite long finish. Very good indeed.Average score
Last tasted18th April 2013Point this date17.00
CommentAt the Wine Society 18% tasting in Malmö.
This Fonseca was given from the private cellar of Bruce Guimaraens to a member of the Wine Society 18% belonging to %, Ander G. Åkesson Collection.. It was bottled in London by Berry Bros.

In 2013 this vintage took part in a Great Tasting in the Wine Society 18%. For points and ranking see Great Tastings.
TastersSAI, JB, SS
HouseFonsecaVintage1948
ColourStill very dark. Unbelievable colour.Number of tastings1
BouquetEnormous bouquet of coffee, tea, crème caramel and much more.Score range19.75 - 19.75
TasteFull bodied Sweet with plenty of violet and still with tannins. Long excellent and balance finish. Still a long way to go but marvellous now.Average score
Last tasted7th January 1984Point this date19.75
CommentAt a tasting in wine friend’s home.
TastersSAI
HouseFonsecaVintage1955
ColourBrilliant, beautiful mature, yellow in colour.Number of tastings6
BouquetTobacco, violet, fudge and some coffee in the marvellous bouquet.Score range18.25 - 18.90
TasteFull-bodied. Excellent port. Mature, rich and perfect. Sweet with liquorice and fudge in the taste. Lovely and never ending finish. What a lovely and astonishing port!Average score18.34
Last tasted20th September 2012Point this date18.25
CommentAt the Wine Society 18% tasting in Malmö.
TastersSAI, JB, SS
HouseFonsecaVintage1960
ColourMature yellow in colour.Number of tastings4
BouquetViolet, cacao, dark chocolate, coffee, dried fruit and old grocery shops in the nose but also maybe a hint of cork unfortunately but this was questionable.Score range15.75 - 18.00
TasteMedium body. Mature and probably peaking. Maybe a hint of cork in taste but still very enjoyable and very tasty. Hard to judge as defect because elegant and quite sweet with still a taste of cacao and dark chocolate and still a quite enjoyable finish. What a pity on this port.Average score16.56
Last tasted18th May 2017Point this date16.50
CommentAt the Wine Society 18% Great Tasting in Malmö.

In 2007 this vintage took part in a Great Tasting in the Wine Society 18%. For points and ranking see Great Tastings.
TastersSAI, JB, SS
HouseFonsecaVintage1963
ColourBeautiful, yellow and mature in colour.Number of tastings26
BouquetEnormous bouquet of crème caramel, violet and liquorice.Score range16.90 - 19.00
TasteFull-bodied, still some soft tannins. Complex and balanced port with violet in taste and an extremely long finish. Wonderful port.Average score17.71
Last tasted23rd November 2013Point this date19.00
CommentAt the Wine Society 18% Great Tasting in Malmö.
This bottle belongs to Gerda And Ole Vesterdals Private Collection.

In 2005 this vintage took part in a Great Tasting in the Wine Society 18%. For points and ranking see Great Tastings.
In 2013 this vintage took part in a Great Tasting in the Wine Society 18%. For points and ranking see Great Tastings.
TastersSAI, JB, SS
HouseFonsecaVintage1966
ColourStill rather dark with a mature, beautiful yellow colour.Number of tastings14
BouquetRipe nose of candy, toffee, coffee, tea, crème caramel, butterscotch and old grocery shop in the nose.Score range16.75 - 18.40
TasteFull-bodied. Complex. Delicious and balanced with taste of dark cherry, candy, cacao and dark chocolate. Matured and peaking. A complex and wonderful long finish. Excellent port. Seem never to end!Average score17.44
Last tasted12th November 2016Point this date18.40
CommentAt home with the family.

In 2006 this vintage took part in a Great Tasting in the Wine Society 18%. For points and ranking see Great Tastings.
TastersSAI, JB, SS
HouseFonsecaVintage1970
ColourStill quite dark with a yellow edge.Number of tastings20
BouquetLiquorice, violet, toffee, fudge, butterscotch and lime in the nose.Score range16.75 - 18.00
TasteFull bodied. Rather mature and probably peaking. Elegant and balanced. Toffee and butterscotch in taste. A wonderful never ending finish. Just drink and enjoy it!Average score17.44
Last tasted23rd May 2016Point this date17.40
CommentAt the Danish Port Wine Club est. 1981 tasting in Copenhagen.

In 2008 this vintage took part in a Great Tasting in the Wine Society 18%. For points and ranking see Great Tastings.
TastersSAI, JB, SS
HouseFonsecaVintage1975
ColourYellow mature in colour.Number of tastings7
BouquetCoffee, mint and liquorice in the nose.Score range15.50 - 17.40
TasteMedium body. Mature and will not be better. Toffee in flavour. Elegant and balanced with a quite nice finish. Drink up.Average score16.29
Last tasted26th November 2011Point this date15.90
CommentAt the Port Wine Club est. 1981 tasting in Copenhagen.

In 2006 this vintage took part in a Great Tasting in the Wine Society 18%. For points and ranking see Great Tastings.
TastersSAI, JB, SS
HouseFonsecaVintage1977
ColourBeautiful yellow and mature in colour but still rather dark.Number of tastings40
BouquetCinnamon, spring flowers, orange, liquorice, toffee, fudge, violets and crème caramel aroma. Very complex.Score range16.75 - 18.50
TasteSpicy and fudge in flavour. Full-bodied. Rather mature but will develop more and be better. Very complex, elegant and balanced port with a long and attractive finish which never seem to end. Marvellous port indeed! Just drink it and enjoy life!Average score17.59
Last tasted21st May 2016Point this date17.50
CommentAt home with the family

In 2010 this vintage took part in a Great Tasting in the Wine Society 18%. For points and ranking see Great Tastings.
TastersSAI, JB, SS
HouseFonsecaVintage1980
ColourMature yellow colour.Number of tastings8
BouquetGinger bread, cacao and brown sugar in the nose.Score range15.00 - 16.00
TasteMedium body. Mature and peaking. Sweet but will not be better. Elegant. Easy to drink but not much back bone. Quite nice finish. Will not improve so drink up.Average score15.57
Last tasted3rd April 2014Point this date15.20
CommentAt the Wine Society 18% Great Tasting in Malmö.
This bottle belongs to Gerda and Ole Vesterdal Private Collection. Not up to Fonseca´s normal standard at all.

In 2014 this vintage took part in a Great Tasting in the Wine Society 18%. For points and ranking see Great Tastings.
TastersSAI, JB, SS
HouseFonsecaVintage1983
ColourMature, beautiful yellow almost tawny in colour.Number of tastings16
BouquetToffee, fudge, mint, old grocery shop, some chocolate and liquorice in the nose.Score range15.40 - 16.50
TasteAlmost full-bodied. Mature and peaking. Chocolate and toffee in flavour. Balanced and quite elegant. Sweet and easy to drink and enjoy with a long and quite attractive finish.Average score15.94
Last tasted18th March 2017Point this date16.50
CommentAt the Wine Society 18% Great Tasting in Malmö.
1 bottle has been defect.

In 2017 this vintage took part in a Great Tasting in the Wine Society 18%. For points and ranking see Great Tastings.
TastersSAI, JB, SS
HouseFonsecaVintage1985
ColourStill very dark with a yellow edge in colour.Number of tastings20
BouquetVery complex bouquet of fudge, toffee, blackberry, violet, mulberry, dried fruit and crème caramel. Excellent nose with several layers of dark berries.Score range16.50 - 17.50
TasteFull-bodied. Liquorice. Still quite young, but complex and balanced. Sweet and very tasty. Still some soft tannin. Powerful and very complex. Very tasty with a wonderful finish which never seem to end. A great port and will be a long runner. Wonderful indeed!Average score16.94
Last tasted21st September 2017Point this date17.00
CommentAt the Wine Society 18% tasting in Malmö.
TastersSAI, JB, SS
HouseFonsecaVintage1992
ColourStill rather dark but also yellow mature in colour.Number of tastings6
BouquetComplex bouquet of fudge, toffee, crème caramel, Christmas spiciness, ginger cakes mulberry and much more in the nose.Score range14.75 - 17.00
TasteFull bodied. Rather mature but still with some soft tannin and will probably be much better! Ginger cakes, Christmas spiciness and toffee in flavour. Balanced, very elegant and very complex with an attractive, very long and wonderful finish. An impressive port indeed!Average score16.31
Last tasted4th February 2017Point this date17.00
CommentAt home with the family.
2 bottles have been invalid.
TastersSAI, JB, SS
HouseFonsecaVintage1994
ColourStill very dark in colour but with a nice yellow rim.Number of tastings4
BouquetDark berry, mulberry, blackberry and black cherry in the nose.Score range16.25 - 16.75
TasteFull-bodied. Still lots of soft tannins and will improve a lot Balanced and complex with a long and lovely finish. Will be lovely to follow.Average score16.50
Last tasted27th November 2014Point this date16.50
CommentAt the Danish Port Wine Club est. 1981 tasting in Copenhagen.
This bottle was a magnum
TastersSAI, JB, SS
HouseFonsecaVintage1997
ColourDark blue, almost still black in colour.Number of tastings1
BouquetDark cherry, minty and mulberry in the nose.Score range16.50 - 16.50
TasteFull-bodied and still very tannic. Loaded with fruit. Complex flavour. Still a long way to go but with a very attractive and promising finish. Will be lovely to follow.Average score
Last tasted31st December 2011Point this date16.50
CommentAt home with the family.
TastersSAI, JB, SS
HouseFonsecaVintage2000
ColourDark blue in colour with just a hint of yellow on the edge.Number of tastings2
BouquetDark cherry, mulberry, plums, blue berry and tobacco in the nose.Score range16.90 - 17.00
TasteFull-bodied. Still some soft and integrated tannins and will of course be much better. Mulberry and some tobacco in taste. Balanced and very complex. A promising port with an attractive and long finish. What will be?Average score16.95
Last tasted17th March 2016Point this date16.90
CommentAt the Wine Society 18% tasting in Malmö.
TastersSAI, JB, SS
HouseFonsecaVintage2003
ColourNearly completely black.Number of tastings2
BouquetFruit and juice in the nose. Impressive.
TasteFull-bodied. Lots of tannin. Immature. Fruity in flavour. Impressive and imposing finish.
Last tasted6th November 2006Rating this dateVery impressive
CommentAt the Port Wine Festival in Copenhagen.

Port so young we evaluate only as : Good – Very good- Impressive – Very Impressive
TastersSAI, JB, SS
HouseFonsecaVintage2007
ColourBlack in colour.Number of tastings2
BouquetFruit and juice in the nose. Impressive.
TasteFull-bodied. Massive tannins. Immature. Fruity. Impressive and imposing finish.
Last tasted2nd November 2009Rating this dateVery impressive
CommentAt the Port Wine Festival in Copenhagen.

Port so young we evaluate only as : Good – Very good- Impressive – Very Impressive
TastersSAI, JB, SS

Old Colheita/Tawny tasting notes:

HouseFonsecaColheita1867
ColourBeautiful tawny in colour with a lime green rim.Number of tastings1
BouquetWonderful complex bouquet of candy, toffee and a full arsenal of aromas in the nose.Bottled
TasteMedium body. Mature and maybe a little tired with some acidity but anyhow elegant and balanced with an attractive and long finish. Quite wonderful old port.Score range17.50 - 17.50
Last tasted8th July 1998Point this date17.50
CommentOn a trip to Oporto
TastersSAI

Copyright © 2011 Vintageport.se All rights reserved.