Fonseca Guimaraens – 10 Year Old Tawny & Vintage Port 2007

Douro Valley, Portugal

www.fonseca.pt

Champagne and oysters, Pinot Noir and truffles – Christmas and Port?  In my mind anyway, these are natural pairings.  Much like rum and eggnog, I can’t quite imagine one without the other in my holidays.

Fonseca Guimaraens [fawn-SAY-kuh GIH-mah-rahns] is a classic port house, and whether you’ve been good, or very, very good this year might just determine which Fonseca bottle Santa picks up for you on his flight over Portugal’s Douro Valley.

First off – for the good: Fonseca 10 Year Old Tawny is a mainstay, and for good reason. With an average in-cask age of ten years, this wine has had enough time to smooth out the edges and transform into a complex, elegant elixir. Honeyed and rich with a walnut rancio nuttiness throughout, this port has a lot going for it – grippy tannins, seductive nose and a graceful finish. Fantastic value around the $20 mark for 375ml.   Aged tawnys will not improve once bottled – all the more reason to drink right now!

 

And for the very, very good: Fonseca Vintage Port 2007.  2007 was easily deemed worthy of a Vintage Port (only declared in above average vintages).  The finest grapes and finest wines are selected and meticulously blended for maximum intensity, depth and aging potential.  On average, this happens three times/decade at Fonseca – and 2007 is one of those blockbuster years. A highly potent nose of rich floral, cherry and chocolate leads to a voluptuous and dense sweet palate of spice, anise, tea, wild cherry, wood, dark chocolate and vanilla. Rich, seamlessly balanced with a lengthy fruit finish.  Such a delight to drink – and will only improve over the next 10+ years.

 

Pair the tawny (liberally) throughout the holiday season with roasted nuts, dried fruits, hard milder cheeses or classic vanilla crème brûlée. A personal fave is tawny meets hazelnut torte.  And for the 2007 Vintage Port?  On its own, by the fire with a very special someone.  Santa perhaps?

 

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Written By:

Treve Ring is a wine writer, editor, judge, consultant and certified sommelier, and has been with EAT Magazine for over a decade. In addition to her work with EAT, she is a Wine Critic and National Judge for WineAlign, ...

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