Fonseca was founded in 1822 by Manuel Pedro Guimaraens and although the company is now owned by Fladgate, it is still run by a descendant of the founder, David Guimaraens. According to Robert M. Parker Jr. matures Fonseca slightly faster than other Vintage Port and Parker claims that Fonseca has a unique character. “This is always the most flamboyant, exuberant and exotic of Vintage Port, with a character totally different from that of its peers,” says Parker.
With about 150 hectares of vineyards planted in traditional Port grapes, including Touriga Nacional, Touriga Francesa, Tinta Roriz, Tinto Cao and others, Fonseca produces 8,000-14,000 cases of Vintage Port each year. It also produces a Tawny Port, a white Port and non-vintage Port. Fonseca belongs since the nineteenth century in the first rank of producers of Vintage Port.
The backbone of Fonseca’s Vintage Port are the wines drawn primarily from Fonseca’s three quintas, all located in the Cima Corgo: Quinta de Santo António, Quinta do Cruzeiro and Quinta do Panascal. The best grapes from these quintas produce his classic Vintage Port. The grapes are still entered on foot in the stone lagares of Cruzeiro and Panascal.
Fonseca’s Vintage Port are known for their lush rich fruit, mouth filling density, tannin structure and ‘grip’, which develops great opulence and complexity with age. They are wines of variety, balance and great complexity. Today Fonseca holds a leading position as experienced makers of quality port and is considered one of the top wine houses. Fonseca belongs without a doubt to the top-3 of Vintage ports specialists.
Quinta do Panascal in the Valley of Távora is the latest addition, this was one of the first organic certified vineyards and is now a fully sustainable vineyard.