Robert Parker 97
The 2016 Vintage Port is a field blend sourced from the typical three Quintas (Panascal in the Tavora Valley and Quinta do Cruzeiro and Quinta de St Antonio in the PinhA o Valley). This was not quite bottled when first seen (set for a week later). It is now in the USA. It was aged for 20 months in wood and comes in with 99 grams of residual sugar. This dry and focused Fonseca was, in my initial July 2018 report, the pick of the Fladgate Group’s litter in 2016. What has most changed in this issue is that Taylor’s is showing a lot better while this has closed down a bit more. This is not seriously diminished, though. It is pretty brilliant. If you want that old-school power, it comes with Fonseca in this vintage. Taylor’s may have the sexiest fruit of the three, but this seems to have the most muscle. It is true that the balance on the two just might be affecting that perception. Taylor’s has a bit more mid-palate depth to soak up the power. Still, if Taylor’s is flashier and richer in 2016, this seems even more serious. In the long lifespan of Ports, to be sure, it won’t be unusual for them to keep flipping back and forth. Admittedly, this is also probably the hardest to read. Still, I couldn’t help but think that this might have slightly more upside potential. Check in around 2060 or so to see if I’m right. (Send me an email if you don’t think so. I want to hear from you.) On this second look, this Fonseca is still remarkably expressive, lifted and gloriously fresh, even with that slight closing. It has reasonable mid-palate concentration but even better intensity of flavor. Despite that intensity of flavor, it is not quite as sexy as it is in some years, at least not yet, as the tannins are firmly in charge. That isn’t changing anytime soon. This rather stern Fonseca simply revels in its brilliant structure. This is a Port that demands cellaring if you want it to be all it can be. You and it will profit from at least 10 more years of cellaring. Doubling that will help a lot more.
Anticipated maturity: 2030-2075