1980 Fonseca

Tasting notes for individual Ports, with an index sorted by vintage and alphabetically.
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Tasting notes for individual Ports, with an index sorted by vintage and alphabetically.
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AHB
Fonseca 1970
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1980 Fonseca Vintage Port

Post by AHB » 21:25 Thu 04 Sep 2008

Opened 4 September 2008. Tasting note taken 1 hour after decanting.

Decanted very cleanly off a tiny amount of sediment. Initially very pale in the decanter, but gained some depth with a little exposure to air - now the colour of rose hip syrup, pale and thin looking. Texturally, this is quite thick and the nose is a wonderful complex of Christmas cake mix with lots of dark spices and a very fruity sweetness. So inviting it just draws you in to take a sip of the wine. Sweet in the mouth, with a very soft streak of acidity giving some structure. Wonderfully complex mid-palate with red licorice imposed over the top of the Christmas cake. Simply delicious. The aftertaste is long and gliding, coating the inside of the mouth and tongue with so many flavours and sensations that it is just luxurious to sit and enjoy them as they unfold.

Some do not like this port and condemn it for being atypical of Fonseca. I consider it to be absolutely delicious, a delight to drink and a port worthy of being opened and shared with other port lovers. 93/100.
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uncle tom
Dow 1980
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Re: 1980 Fonseca Vintage Port

Post by uncle tom » 23:24 Thu 04 Sep 2008

I've been a little bit uncertain about this wine - I certainly don't buy the atypical argument, (I wasn't the only person to correctly identify it (both of them!) at your '80 horizontal)

But it HAS lost a lot of colour, and from memory I would judge it to be significantly paler than the Fonsecas from '77,'70 & '66.

Not Fonseca's finest hour, nor the best wine of that vintage, but certainly a decent player at this point.

To my mind, where it's going is the uncertain bit..?

Tom
I may be drunk, Miss, but in the morning I shall be sober and you will still be ugly - W.S. Churchill

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DRT
Graham’s 1948
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Re: 1980 Fonseca Vintage Port

Post by DRT » 23:53 Thu 04 Sep 2008

I think this is probably a wine that suffers in the evaluation game from its own name. I do suspect that it is often marked down because people expect more of the house than this wine delivers. That doesn't make it a bad wine, just not one that is up there with its stablemates knocking on the door of 100 points.

Label bias does funny things. It would be interesting to read TNs from a bottle of this labeled Cruz 1980. :P
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Andy Velebil
Taylor Quinta de Vargellas 1987
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Re: 1980 Fonseca Vintage Port

Post by Andy Velebil » 14:49 Fri 05 Sep 2008

Tom,
You are right on the money, it has lost a lot of color. Here is my recent TN from it. Alex R. was also over and had the same opinon. I think Fonseca scored a miss in 1980 and 1983.


Decanted about 6-8 hours. A very advanced color for a VP, far to advanced for an 80 from a top tier house such as Fonseca. It was boardering on being a ten year tawny in color. I was a bit worried straight off when I smelled it and got tons of heat with only light flower pedals and some toffee evident. This is an incredibly hot VP, fully laiden with unintegrated spirit. It was as if the fruit died out a long time ago and left only the arguardente. Other than a medicinal taste the only other thing I could gather was some light carmel. The finish was totally clipped and left me wondering what happened to Fonseca in 80 and 83? The bottle was in pristine shape and well stored, so that was not an issue. Alex R. said he's had two of these and they were identical to this one. I must say a bottle I will never buy again, even at a great price. 81 points

08/21/08

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AHB
Fonseca 1970
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Re: 1980 Fonseca Vintage Port

Post by AHB » 08:04 Sat 06 Sep 2008

Andy,

Yours is a very interesting note and very different from the bottle that I am sipping. My bottle has fully integrated alcohol and - while mature for a 28 year old port - drinks extremely well and far better than 81 points.

I wonder what has happened to cause such bottle variation? Perhaps this is one to try on you when you are over in the UK next month.

Alex
Last edited by AHB on 00:39 Mon 08 Sep 2008, edited 1 time in total.
Top Port in 2017 (so far): Taylor 2010 LBV
2016 Port of the year: Cockburn 1908

Andy Velebil
Taylor Quinta de Vargellas 1987
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Re: 1980 Fonseca Vintage Port

Post by Andy Velebil » 13:52 Sat 06 Sep 2008

Like the 1977 Fonseca, It is very possible there is some bottle variation in this vintage that has showed up earlier than the '77 due to the lighter weight of it. But what reinforced my note was Alex R. was over and trying this also and he remarked that my bottle was the same as the last 2 that he has owned and tried (all bought from different sources at different times).

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