Dark crimson. Lifted, appetising note of putty on the nose. Very round and luscious. Pure pleasure and none of the angularity of some 2003s. But perhaps not as reticent as some vintage Fonsecas. Even a hint of coconut. Finishes just a teensy bit dry. 18/20 points (JR)
The 2003 Vintage Port comes in with 92 grams per liter of residual sugar. This is a big boy in terms of voluptuous fruit, but (at least as double decanted overnight), it is drinkable now, even if it still tightens noticeably as it sits in the glass. Make no mistake, though—it is nowhere near peak. This rather dry Fonseca is big and fat, yet there is also some concept of balance here, surprisingly. This very warm vintage wasn't exactly shy. The concentration easily counters the power, and it steadily acquired better balance as it sat and aired. In terms of complexity, there's no there there yet, if you'll allow the Gertrude Stein summary. In that sense, at least, it is far too young and needs another decade. Winemaker David Guimaraens told me that he thinks his grandchildren will be able to enjoy it, so there is no rush. Cellar this for another decade, at the least, more like 20 years if you like them softer and more complex. This will still improve, but it has some more questions to answer in the cellar. (MS)
This is a beauty right now. Violet in color, scent and texture, Fonseca uses all the plumpness of the vintage to best advantage. It glistens with freshness, with long, dark fruit flavors held in place almost invisibly by the persistence of tannin. The schisty scent of smoke off broken rock gives the structure its electricity, and, with the freshness of the fruit, will sustain the wine for decades.
Lots of grape and raisin on the nose. Full-bodied, chewy and lightly sweet. Serious concentration, with lots of grip on the finish. Just what to expect from a young Vintage Port. (JS)
Fonseca vintage Ports are always among the most attractive and long-lived. This 2003 conforms magnificently to that model. It is structured, rich, powerful and opulent. There are cassis and black fig flavors, as well as sweet tannins. It is delicious already, and will remain delicious throughout its long life. (RV)
Saturated deep ruby. Brooding, reticent nose of cassis and kirsch; there's nothing cooked about this one! Then massive, sweet and superrich in the mouth; explodes with exotic ripeness. Intriguing note of graphite. This coats every nook and cranny of the palate and clings and builds on the back end in a way that no other wine of this vintage can match. Huge, sexy and wonderfully lush Fonseca, built for the long haul. As impressive as the best 2000s, and, along with the Quinta do Noval Nacional, is an early candidate for port of the 2003 vintage. (ST)
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