At the beginning of the year, it was announced that Fonseca had bottled their final vintage of their Guimaraens wine. The wine, which was named after the producer’s home region in Portugal, has been a controversial wine with a loyal following amongst oenophiles. The producer claimed that they were retiring the wine to make room for their new Fonseca Cava (a sparkling wine) but the common consensus amongst wine lovers was that the wine was just too difficult to make.

The Fonseca winery has announced that it has bottled its special Vintage 2019 wine made from the Guimaraens grapes, a grape that dates back hundreds of years and was once used to make Port wine. Fonseca teas a Special Vintage every year. The grapes are handpicked and fermented in oak barrels before spending months in large French casks. They then bottled the wine and shipped to the UK for bottling. The Guimaraens wine is described as having hints of chocolate, caramel, and prunes on the nose, a dry and fruity palate, and a long, tangy finish. ‘


The port is stored in the cellars for later release to meet market demand for mature Single Quinta Vintage Port.

NEW YORK, NY – 21. April 2021 – Fonseca will release a 2019 vintage port under the Guimaraens label.

Managing Director, Adrian Bridge, said: I am delighted that 2019 has produced such an exceptionally good Vintage Port. This port shows density and structure, with impressive depth. He adds: We decided to age the wines in our cellars and release them in the next 8 to 10 years. Currently, buyers can pick up the 2018 Fonseca Guimaraens, which is still widely available.

Fonseca winemaker David Guimaraens notes: A warm, dry winter and cool spring provided low yields and high flavor intensity, while a cool ripening period gave the fruit distinct acidity and purity. The 2019 wine has all the subtle fruit character we have come to expect from vintage Guimaraen Ports, combined with the seductive freshness and finesse characteristic of the year.



Almost black in the middle, with a narrow garnet edge.  As you would expect from a vintage Guimaraens Port, the nose is built around a core of concentrated blackberry, cassis and cherry flavors that are complex and intense.  As the nose unfolds, the curtain falls on the many dimensions of the complex aroma that encompasses spicy herb notes, cedar cigar boxes and a subtle roasted coffee aroma.  The palate is nicely balanced, with plenty of volume and bright acidity in the mid-palate and on the long finish, which lifts the wine and makes it fresh and lively.  The tannins are firm and dense, giving structure and volume, and the wine finishes with dense wild berry notes.


After a warm and dry rest, the wine cycle started a little earlier, with buds blooming on March 9, about a week earlier than in the normal calendar.  Overall, the growing season was drier and cooler than usual, although the usual rainfall in April was quite productive with about 98 mm when the grapes began to colour (veraison) in mid-July, at the usual time.  Although the ripening season began with high temperatures, the weather in the critical month of August was cooler than average and some rain fell on August 25 and 26, balancing the ripening of the crop.  The relatively cool conditions and lack of high temperature spikes led to the elegance, crisp acidity and singing fruit in the 2019 wines.  The harvest of red grapes began in the eastern areas of the Douro in warm weather on 4 September and in Pinhão on 14 September. September. The crop was perfectly healthy and in excellent condition, although the yield was almost a tenth of the ten-year average.  The wines were pleasantly aromatic, with high natural acidity and higher than normal color intensity.

Harvest began on September 18 at the Fonseca Quinta do Panascal vineyard in the Tavora Valley and on September 20 at the Fonseca Quinta do Panascal vineyard in the Tavora Valley. September on the Quinta do Cruzeiro vineyard with unusually healthy grapes. The collection took place during a brief rain period on the evening of the 21st. In September there was a short break, 8 mm, but this was not enough to affect the quality of the varieties produced. The excellent weather conditions continued and the harvest in the Quinta do Santo António de Fonseca vineyard was postponed until early October. Excellent wines were produced until the end of the harvest.


Guimaraen Vintage Ports are produced in some years when the classic Fonseca vintage is not specified, and they tend to be softer and more approachable when young. An excellent choice for early drinking, but they have the depth and persistence to age in the bottle. Traditionally, the Guimaraens were blended from the best products of the company’s two vineyards in the Pinhão Valley, Cruzeiro and Santo António. In recent years, however, the wines from Fonseca’s flagship Quinta do Panascal have become increasingly important. Panascal is located in the Tavor Valley, one of the most famous areas for the production of port wine. Cruzeiro, located on the eastern bank of the Pinhão River, has supplied wine to Fonseca since the 1870s, and its wines have been part of the company’s vintage port blends since 1912. Not far away is Santo António, another historic estate that has enjoyed great acclaim since the classification of the Port vineyards in 1761, and where award-winning work in sustainable viticulture is carried out.


Founded in 1815 as a Port Wine Company, Fonseca is distinguished by the stylistic consistency of its Vintage Ports, which have been made by five generations of the Guimaraens family since their foundation. Vintage Ports have an expressive, juicy fruitiness that becomes lusher and more complex with age, and a sumptuous roundness on the palate, supported by velvety, mouth-filling tannins. Although they can live for decades, the exuberant fruitiness of Fonseca Vintage Ports makes them extremely enjoyable when young. Fonseca is definitely on the first team of Vintage Portos.

James Sackling, respected wine critic and author of the most authoritative book on Vintage Port to date, has described Fonseca Bentley Vintage Port as a wine for connoisseurs and amateurs.


Quinta do Panascal, one of the most famous regions in which port wine is produced, lies to the west and southwest on the steep right bank of the Tavora River, a major tributary that flows into the Douro. As the old saying goes, Roncao and Panascal produce the best wines in Portugal. The winery was a supplier of grapes to Fonseca for decades and was eventually purchased by the company in 1978. Since taking over the winery, significant investments have been made, not only to revitalize the vineyards, but also to ensure the production of wines that perfectly match the style of Fonseca. As a result, the site has produced some excellent wines that now form the basis of the Fonseca Vintage Port blend. They have a rich, sweet fruitiness and, above all, a dense, velvety texture and complexity on the palate. Quinta do Panascal was one of the first wineries in the Douro Valley to practice organic viticulture.


Quinta do Cruzeiro has been supplying the company since the 1870s, making it the oldest association with Fonseca of any of the company’s operations. Cruzeiro has been part of the Fonseca Vintage Port blend since 1912 and remains an important part today. It is a historic winery that received Faytory status (the highest classification of wineries at the time) in 1761. It is located in a warm place in the west, on the lower slopes of the valley on the left bank of the Pinyan River. The vineyard was extensively renovated in the 1970s, including the construction of the first modern terraces, but still contains a large number of very old vines. Cruzeiro wines have a subtle, concentrated fruitiness and a strong tannic character that adds structure and power to the Fonseca Vintage Port blend.


Quinta de Santo António is located on an open slope, facing west, downstream of the Pinhão River, about a kilometer north of Quinta do Cruzeiro de Fonseca. The winery shares a long association with Quinta do Cruzeiro and Fonseca and was granted feudal status in the same year. Since the beginning of the last century, his wines have also been an integral part of the Fonseca Vintage Port blend. However, the property is smaller and has recently undergone extensive renovations. Thus Santo Antonio became a model estate with the most modern methods of planting and hanging the vines. The winery is managed according to the principles of sustainable viticulture and uses the experience Fonseca gained at Quinta do Panascal.

For more information, visit the Port of Fonseca website.

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