In certain years when there is no classic Fonseca Vintage Port, a Guimaraens Vintage Port may be made instead. When Guimaraens Vintage Ports were first released in the 1930’s they were made in the same years as the classic Fonseca Vintage Ports but blended from slightly less powerful components, much like the second wines of the Bordeaux châteaux. Today Guimaraens Vintage Ports are made in years when the wines are more supple and early maturing and Fonseca in vintages producing bigger, more long lasting Ports.
Fonseca Guimaraens Vintage Port 2018 is impenetrable purple-black at the centre, with a narrow band of violet on the rim. The nose is dense and compact, with impressive depth and background. The fruit quality is superb, a luscious blend of black and red berry aromas which is the hallmark feature of Fonseca’s vintage ports, mingled with notes of dark chocolate. Around this core of powerful, complex fruit is an aura of balsamic, minty scents. Although the nose is sensuous and seductive, there is an attractive firm edge, provided by graphite and a flinty minerality. The first impression on the palate is of silky smoothness but the tannins suddenly burst out on the finish with an assertive pungency and a wire of acidity runs through the wine to give it a lively freshness. There is an abundance of crisp, berry fruit flavour which carries into the long finish. This superb Guimaraens Vintage Port displays stamina and depth but is sufficiently supple and expressive for early drinking.