NV Fonseca 10YO Tawny (bottled 1979)

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Tasting notes for individual Ports, with an index sorted by vintage and alphabetically.
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benread
Martinez 1985
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NV Fonseca 10YO Tawny (bottled 1979)

Post by benread » 04:46 Fri 08 May 2009

Thanks go to DRT who sourced this bottle and was kind enough to pass one on. Two in fact but the other still exists!

This was opened blind for two friends to demonstrate something different. Expectations were not high, but totally exceeded. It was almost strawberry in colour - a beautiful clear red. Very floral on the nose and quite sweet to taste. Actually very enjoyable as a tawny. There is a little left in the bottle which now awaits my retrun from a weekend away (if the wife and MiL do not drink it!)

For a bottle that was not intended to mature in the bottle, this does not seem to have suffered at all for nearly 30 years in the bottle!
Ben
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Vintage 1970!

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uncle tom
Dow 1980
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Re: NV Fonseca 10YO Tawny (Bottled 1979)

Post by uncle tom » 10:02 Fri 08 May 2009

There is no doubt in my mind that these wines can improve in bottle, the only problem with old examples like this is that they are often bottles that have languished in the back of kitchen cupboards, and have not been properly cellared.

Even with optimal cellaring, I am not sure that a 30 year wait is a good idea; but a decade or so does seem to smooth the rough edges.

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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benread
Martinez 1985
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Re: NV Fonseca 10YO Tawny (Bottled 1979)

Post by benread » 19:31 Fri 15 May 2009

I have just come back to this after a week. (The weekend in Krakow with friends was enough to keep me dry for a few days since as well!). I have to say it has changed far more rapidly in the bottle once opened than I would expect a young tawny to do after 1 week open. It is now cloudy and there is a light sediment in the bottle - it may have been there last week but the early pours were definitely clear. On the nose it now has a slight mustiness and is slightly bitter to taste.

I left a small sample of this with AlexB on Wednesday and am keen to hear what he made of it.

My advice to DRT and JacobH who I know to also have bottles of this is enjoy them quickly once open and consider decanting. Had my only experience of this been last Thursday night, it would have been purely positive and enjoyable. My other bottle shall not suffer such a slow death!
Ben
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Vintage 1970!

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AHB
Fonseca 1970
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Re: NV Fonseca 10YO Tawny (Bottled 1979)

Post by AHB » 01:22 Sat 16 May 2009

Ben kindly passed a sample bottle of this to me when we met at the Oval after work in the week.

This was pale in colour, almost a greeny-brown. On the nose there were light sugar flavours, some fudge and golden treacle. The golden treacle came through in the mouth, but the flavours were weak and the main impression was one of cold, sweet tea. But the aftertaste was impressive for its length, but the flavours were light and based around brown sugar. The overwhelming impression was of a wine which was tired. 82/100. Drunk 13/5/09.
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JacobH
Taylor Quinta de Vargellas 1987
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Re: NV Fonseca 10YO Tawny (Bottled 1979)

Post by JacobH » 11:49 Sat 16 May 2009

I had a couple of friends over for dinner last night and opened a bottle of this and a Warre ’83.

On decanting, a small amount of very fine sediment was produced. I tried a little and was immediately gripped by its complexity but it was a little too spirity to enjoy. Thankfully, this was on Thursday night and when we got around to drinking it yesterday (roughly 24 hours in the decanter), the spirit had properly integrated.

I didn’t take any notes, but I remember being extremely impressed. The distinctive nose and ‟back-of-the-mouth” sensation of a tawny was still there but it was counteracted by a lovely mellow sensation, as one might expect from a 30-year-old VP. A very different experience to Alex and Ben.

I wonder if there’s going to be a bit of bottle-variation with these. I think that the one I opened was much darker than the descriptions given here and from the one which DRT opened. It also tasted much more alive than the descriptions given here and by Derek so I must have been quite lucky. It will be interesting to see what the other bottles are like!
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