Fonseca Tawny Port 10 Year Old
During the January following each vintage, Fonseca sets aside a reserve of very concentrated, powerful vintage quality red ports, selected primarily from the firm's own quintas and judged according to their ageing potential. These are placed in cask and cellared. Since wines from different vintages show variation in character, concentration and rate of maturation, tawny Ports of age are blended across several vintages to maintain quality and continuity of style, and thus show an "apparent", or average age on the label rather than a vintage date. In the very old tawny Ports of age, the actual age of each Port in the blend may vary as much as ten years, but in the younger tawnies variation is usually more in the order of five years or less.
As tawny Ports age, they grow lighter in colour, as they throw their deposit in the cask rather than in the bottle. The process of racking contributes to the oxidation process whereby the wine's fruit qualities gradually dimiish and its nutty characteristics are acquired. Moreover, Fonseca cellars its aged tawnies in the Douro rather than in Vila Nova de Gaia; the considerable difference in heat and humdity between these two areas lends Fonseca's tawny Ports of age a very distinctive "baked" richness more reminiscent of butterscotch than of caramel.
Of an average cask age of ten years, it is a young port of russet color with brilliant crimson highlights and a fragrant, ripe-fruit bouquet. Its smooth, silky texture and subtle oak nuances are balanced by a fresh acidity and tannic grip that culminate in a long, elegant finish.