Fonseca 1985 Vintage Port (75cl, 20.5%)

Fonseca 1985 Vintage Port (75cl, 20.5%)

The 1985 vintage was preceded by an exceptionally cold and wet winter, with nighttime temperatures in early January well below freezing. Berry formation was excellent and bunches formed perfectly. The summer was warm throughout the region, with no rainfall during July and August.

Fonseca started the harvest earlier than many of the other producers, and the harvest took place under ideal conditions before the rain that fell at the end of September. Fermentation conditions were ideal, resulting in musts of exceptional color and density.

Fonseca has been part of the first category of Vintage Port wine producers since the mid-19th century. Fonseca Vintage Port wines are known for their lush fruitiness that develops great opulence and complexity with age. Their wines appeal to the enthusiast and connoisseur, perhaps more than the Vintage Ports of any other house, because they are the result of inspired production and a deep knowledge of viticulture and terroir.

Vintage Port wines represent the best of the products of an exceptional year. Unlike Port wines that age in wood, Vintage Port wines will continue to age and improve in bottle for decades, inscribing in their character both the characteristics of the vineyard and the influence of the winemaker.

The company's Vintage Port wines come from its own estates: Cruzeiro and Santo António in the Pinhão valley, which have contributed to the company's Vintage Port blend for 100 years, as well as the Panascal estate in the Távora valley.

The traditional accompaniments to Vintage Port are Stilton, and/or walnuts. There is some sound sense here. Stilton has a powerful, salty flavour that few wines can stand up to.

But Vintage Port has the weight and the sweetness to cope. And walnuts? The slight bitterness of those tannic skins brings a pleasingly acerbic edge to the marriage.

Other cheeses to consider would be Cashel Blue, Roquefort or even a wonderful artisan Canadian cheese called Le Ciel de Charlevoix - a creamy, lightly blue veined cheese made with whole milk.

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