NV Fonseca Terra Prima

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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Glenn E.
Quinta do Vesuvio 1994
Posts: 3301
Joined: 22:27 Wed 09 Jul 2008
Location: Seattle, WA, USA

NV Fonseca Terra Prima

Post by Glenn E. » 21:40 Sat 30 May 2009

NV Fonseca Terra Bella Reserve
Terra Bella is a fully organic Port, and even has an EU Eco-Cert to prove it. $21.99 at my local grocery store, which doesn't typically have the best prices. I'd guess $19.99 would be a more normal price at a wine store.

It's a very dark red in the glass, with just enough blue in it to give the impenetrable center a purple tone. But near the edges it's clearly a deep red.

Right out of the bottle it was very hot on the nose, almost to the exclusion of any other aromas. But it rapidly settled down and while there's still quite a bit of alcohol evident, it is nicely integrated. There's almost a perfume-like note to the alcohol, too; it's not a rubbing alcohol kind of scent. I detect a bit of blackberry and something redder... possibly boysenberry... and then also some red raspberry.

The dominant flavor in the mouth for me is blackberry. It tries very hard to be rich and luscious, but there's enough alcohol present that it can't quite make it that far. It's not hot, though, just enough to make the fruits seem spicy instead of rich. There are sufficient tannins to provide plenty of grip, but not so much that you feel like scouring your tongue to get them off. If I search for it, I can find that typical hint of chocolate, but I really have to be looking for it unlike some Ports that scream it from first taste.

The finish starts with gobs of fruit with a little heat, and fades evenly for 10-15 seconds. After another 10-15 seconds I get a bit of an after-effect that's biting or bitter.

I'd say this is a great success - it's as good as some LBVs that I have tasted, and I prefer it to Graham's Six Grapes (which I typically find a little too tannic). It's not quite as boistrously fruity as the Graham's, but for some people that might be a good thing.
Glenn Elliott

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