Served at the bicentenary dinner in June, I was served from two bottles. One was fragrant and floral, sweet and elegant with gentle tannic grip, but soft and redolent of a tawny on the finish. The other, on which I base this score, had the focus and dark chocolate intensity one would expect from this great year. Spellbinding depth, with bitter chocolate and thick-cut marmalade in perfect balance. (RM)
A grand slam. Deep ruby with a slightly red edge, intense black cherry and raspberry nose, full-bodied, with masses of fruit, full tannins and an extremely long finish. This can age indefinitely. (JS, Web Only-1989))
The 1963 Fonseca is one of my favorite ports of all time. I had one of my last bottles of this wine standing for this report, and was happy to come across a recent note in one of my tasting books that saved the bottle for the time being. Not that I did not feel like drinking a bottle of the ’63, but with only a handful in house at the moment, discretion is the better part of valor, as this wine is clearly still on the way up. The magical nose is still a bit youthfully closed, requiring some extended decanting to reveal a stunning mélange of sweet cassis, plum, mint, chocolate, tobacco, violets, minerals and cedary, spicy wood. On the palate the wine is fabulously deep and tightly-knit with a powerful laser beam of fruit, tangy acids, firm tannins, and a long, complex, bracingly powerful finish. The ‘63 Fonseca is still quite young (I much prefer the wonderful 1966 Fonseca for current drinking), and really deserves another five to ten years in the cellar. It should easily last another fifty to seventy-five years. (Drink between 2010-2050)
This example was bottled in Porto and remained in the house’s bin until this tasting. The 1963 Vintage Port has a dark russet color. The nose is beautifully defined, perhaps this particular bottle less exuberant than other that I have encountered. It offers walnut, small cherries, juniper berries and a touch of spirit that expands in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with wonderful balance and fine tannins. It has tremendous weight matched by nigh perfect acidity. It is very harmonious, almost honeyed towards the finish with hazelnut and cloves infusing the decayed fruit and hints of menthol on the spicy aftertaste. This is a sublime Fonseca that will last another two or three decades with ease. Drink now-2030+. (NM)
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