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Taylor’s & Fonseca declare 2003 port vintage

27 April 2005

Taylor’s & Fonseca declare 2003 port vintage

New Zealand Port lovers have something to raise their glasses to – it’s just been announced that both Taylor’s and Fonseca have decided to declare their 2003 vintages and stock from both Port Houses is being shipped to New Zealand for an estimated October release.

The vintage announcement follows an outstanding viticulture year in Portugal’s Douro Valley, with excellent ripening and harvesting seasons. Vintages are declared only after exceptional years – usually two or three times a decade at most.

“2003 was a perfect year in the vineyards,” said Taylor’s and Fonseca Wine maker David Guimaraens. “A wet winter to build up water reserves, excellent flowing conditions and plenty of heat and sunshine in the summer. All the ingredients for a great vintage port were there.”

New Zealanders wanting to get their hands on the fruits of Taylor’s and Fonseca’s labours will need to act quickly with only 77 cases of Taylor's 2003 and 38 cases of Fonseca 2003 being shipped to New Zealand.

New Zealand distributor Foster’s Group NZ says they expect the limited stocks to sell out very quickly as in past years. The ports will be available through fine wine stores nationwide. Nick Heath, Marketing Manger of both Port houses, will be visiting New Zealand in October to promote the arrival of the vintage ports.

As is to be expected from a warm dry year, the 2003 vintages ports are wines of massive scale. The hot summer produced concentration and power but the wines also have excellent structure and great finesse. The Taylor 2003 and Fonseca 2003 are very much in their own renowned style, with wonderfully complex noses and great depth and stamina evident on the palate.

The 2003 wines have shown promise from an early stage. However, Taylor’s and Foncesa have maintained their house tradition of announcing on 23 April, St George’s Day.

“A declaration decision is something you do not rush, even when the wines are as clearly magnificent as the 2003’s,” said Fonseca and Taylor’s Managing Director, Adrian Bridge.

“A new vintage port declaration is one of the most eagerly anticipated events in the wine calendar, especially since it does not happen every year. A declaration allows consumers and collectors to acquire one of the world’s great iconic wines for prices which remain very reasonable compared to those of other classic appellations.”

Fonseca 2003 tasting notes: Intense purple black center with narrow magenta edge. Nose bursting with the potent complex fruitiness which is the hallmark of the Fonseca style. The fruit is rich and luscious, a harmonious blend of blackcurrant, raspberry, cherry and plum. Full bodied on the palate with tightly knit, chewy tannins which provide both volume and structure. The succulent jammy fruit flavours seem to last for ever on the incredible long finish. A big, opulent wine in the Fonseca tradition with the background and depth of flavour to ensure a long life in bottle.

Taylor’s 2003 tasting notes: Inky purple black with narrow magenta rim. Classic Taylor nose, with exotic scents of violet and gumcistus set against an impenetrable background of intense dark berry fruit. Stylish and racy palate, displaying a tight fabric of sinewy tannins and packed with concentrated grapey flavours which intensify through the seemingly endless finish. Like may other great Taylor vintages this wine is an archetype of restrained power, its elegance and breeding


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