The History of Fonseca Port

One of the reasons we feature Fonseca Port on the Ideal Wine Company product list is that throughout the course of its long history, Fonseca has developed a reputation for producing excellent vintages.

Port wine

Port is a fortified wine produced in the Douro Valley of Northern Portugal. It’s a sweet, (usually) red vintage that’s typically made from five grapes grown up in the sun-drenched climes of Douro Valley. These are Tinta Barroca, Tinta Cão, Tinta Roriz, Touriga Francesa and Touriga Nacional; producing a bottle that’s often richer and heavier than traditional wines.

But you can’t just create a vintage from these grapes and call it a Port. These fortified sweet reds are like Champagnes and Chiantis. They’re protected wines, meaning that producers must conform to a specific set a rules to gain the privilege of labelling their finished product a ‘Port’ wine.

Consistent excellence

One of the most celebrated Port makers in the world is Fonseca. Established in 1815 by the Fonseca and Monteiros families, the firm has developed a great reputation for its vintage Ports. The first vintage Fonseca Port was released in 1840, and it has since gone on to achieve legendary status among wine enthusiasts.

What’s truly amazing is that Fonseca managed to maintain its reputation for excellence throughout the 19th and 20th Centuries. It has released many vintages that have gone on to secure iconic status including the 1868, the extraordinary 1927, 1948, 1977 and 1994. Yet it’s perhaps most known for the Bin No27. This is a blended Port that was produced in the 19th Century, but only released in 1972; the Bin No27 has since gone on to become one of the most popular blends ever created.

Expert opinion

Fonseca has been lauded for its commitment to excellence many times throughout its history. Leading US wine critic Robert Parker wrote about Fonseca Port in his noted work, The Wine Buyers Guide. He said that “Fonseca is one of the great port lodges, producing the most exotic and most complex port. With its lush, seductive character, one might call it the Pomerol of Vintage ports.”

Another celebrated US wine critic, James Suckling, made similar comments in his authoritative volume, Vintage Port. Suckling wrote that “the vintage Ports of Fonseca are perhaps the most consistently great of them all. Not only do they have a striking fleshiness and powerful richness when young, but they retain that youthfulness for decades.”

Try Fonseca Port

Ever since the 19th Century, Fonseca has produced world-renowned Port wines which have been lauded consistently by wine enthusiasts and critics alike. You should buy the Fonseca 1977 from the Ideal Wine Company today, if you want to sample one of the company’s most beloved bottles.


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