Quinta do Panascal
Visiting the one of the leading Port companies in the beautiful
Douro region of Portugal, part 3
One of the greatest of
the Port houses, Fonseca has been part of the Taylor Fladgate and
Yeatman group since the late 1940s. It was founded in 1822, and by
1840 had become the second largest shipper of Port.
The house style is one of richness and complexity.
Much of the modern
reputation of Fonseca is based on the work of Bruce Guimaraens (who
made the vintages from 1960 to 1992) and his son David (who has made
the wines since 1994). The heart of the blend comes from Quinta do
Panascal in the Tavora Valley of the Douro, a 76 hectare property
with 44 hectares of vineyards that was purchased by Fonseca in 1978.
Other Quintas owned by Fonseca are Quinta de Sao
António, with 12 hectares of vines, and Quinta do Cruzeiro with 13
hectares; both are located in the Pinhão Valley of the Cima Corgo.
well as the thrilling Vintage Port and excellent Guimaraens and
Panascal single quinta bottlings, Fonseca also make an impressive,
fruit-driven organic Port, Terra Prima. Entry level bottling Bin 27
shows some personality and is great value for money.
these Quintas, we visited Quinta do Panascal, which is the jewel in
Fonseca’s crown. Located up the Tavora valley (the Tavora is a
tributary of the Douro) in the Cima Corgo, it’s quite spectacular.
While we were there, two lagares were full and were being worked by
teams using wooden poles. This is winemaking as it would have been
performed centuries ago, and this was quite a contrast with the more
modern surroundings of the Nogueira winery.
had been supplying grapes to Fonseca for over 20 years when Fonseca
purchased the Quinta in 1978. In the 1980s the Quinta was enlarged
by annexing the next-door Quinta do Val dos Muros. There are now 44
hectares under vine. Major varieties are Tinta Roriz (30%), Touriga
Francesa (23%), Touriga Nacional (19%) and Tinta Barocca (18%).
Bin No 27
Beautifully floral aromatics. Very fresh with a hint of mint.
Lovely palate is fresh and fruity. This tastes much more expensive
than it is. (£10.49 Tesco, Morrisons)
Terra Prima Organic Reserve
Vivid, rich and focused with lovely aromatics. The palate is
fresh and vibrant with lovely focused blackberry fruit. Fresh and
enticing. 90/100 (£14.49 Waitrose)
LBV 2003 Unfiltered
Intense, rich, spicy and focused with a bit of earthiness under
the fruit. Tasty and vibrant. Delicious. 89/100 (£11.99 Majestic)
10 Year Old Tawny
Quite fresh and spicy with lovely vibrancy and nice spiciness.
Complex, sweet and still quite fruity. 90/100
20 Year Old Tawny
Orange/brown colour. Lovely complex nose: aromatic, cedary. The
palate is mouthfilling with real intensity and spicy complexity.
Rich and bold. 93/100
40 Year Old Tawny
Orange/brown colour. Complex, lifted aromatic nose with herbs,
nuts and spice, as well as hints of old furniture. The palate is
powerful, sweet, complex and nutty with almost a salty dimension.
Superconcentrated with a long finish. 95/100
Quinta do Panascal 1998
Beautfiully complex, vibrant, spicy nose. Very spicy, and a bit
earthy. The palate is evolved and complex with the earthy, spicy
notes dominating. 91/100
Quinta do Panascal 2005
Distinctive earthy, spicy edge to the nose, with a prominent
savoury dimension. The palate is dense, earthy and spicy with a
strong savouriness. Distinctive. 92/100
Vintage Port 2003
Wonderful nose with some floral notes as well as a spicy
earthiness. Multidimensional. The palate is warm, dense and spicy
with smooth fruit and plenty of structure. Wonderful density and
Vintage Port 2007
Violetty floral aromatics together with a lovely complex spicy
dimension on the nose. The palate has beautifully expressive fruit
with vibrant presence and earthy complexity. A thrilling Port.
TAYLOR, CROFT and FONSECA
visiting Taylor, Croft and Fonseca in Portugal's Douro
Port, and Quinta de Vargellas
Port, and Quinta da Panascal
Port and Quinta da Roeda
Nogueira Winery: making Port
Yeatman, a new luxury hotel in Porto
2008 single Quinta Ports from Taylor, Fonseca and Croft
from the Douro Valley, Part 5, Taylor's
Vargellas and Fonseca's Panascal
from the Douro Valley, part 4
from the Douro Valley, part
3, Croft's Quinta da Roeda, Douro
2, Photographs from Quinta do
3, Photographs from
Quinta do Noval's Nacional Vineyard
Noval Nacional and Vintage Port back to 1962
older report on Noval's table wines
new Douro (series)
Ports from 2007 assessed
Ports from 2003 assessed
tasted as 09/09
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