An Absolutely Perfect Bottle for Your Cellar
Vintage Port is sturdy, age-worthy and delicious. It also happens to be the best deal going.
Fonseca 2011 Vintage Port $118
Let’s start out with the obvious. One hundred and and eighteen dollars (plus tax) is a tremendous amount of money to lay out for any bottle of wine. Doubly so when the wine may not reach optimal drinking for at least a decade or maybe three. The flip side is that there are occasions that are important enough to be marked by the very best: a birth of a child, a golden anniversary, the Oilers choosing Connor McDavid. Big things. If you want a Champagne suitable for such an event it’s tough to beat Krug Clos de Menil—it’s $831. You like Bordeaux?The 2010 Mouton Rothschild will lay down beautifully once you pony up the $1,566 for it at your local liquor store. And let’s not even start with Burgundy.
The 2011 Fonseca is every bit the gold standard wine that any of the above are. If you’re a score junky ‘ol Bob Parker dropped 99 points on it. The Wine Spectator said it was the 13th best wine of the entire year. And unlike the Mouton, which you can find for about $500 less down south, the pricing on the Fonseca is actually cheaper up here than it is in the U.S. And because it’s fortified it’s not temperamental in its aging—short of parking it beside an exhaust fan, it’s a tough wine that can take temperature fluctuations way better than the others can.
All of which wouldn’t matter if the liquid inside wasn’t the deep ruby essence of perfection. Fonseca purports to have a slightly sexier style than Taylor-Fladgate, which is more muscular. To be honest I haven’t drunk enough side by side to comment. I can say that this bottle is a teeth staining revelation of concentrated fruit, tannic structure and elegance.
Heck I’ve convinced myself. I’m laying a bottle down tomorrow.