Robert Parker – 93
The 1985 Fonseca is still youthful in appearance with hardly any ageing on the rim. The nose offers kirsch, sloes and Christmas cake. With time, there are subtle notes of dried fig and dates beginning to emerge and add to the complexity. The palate is medium-bodied and beautifully balanced on the supple, rounded entry. It is not quite as complex as the aromatics, with dates and dried fig, the finish mellow and refined. It is very elegant for a Fonseca, weighty but supremely well focused. This is a fabulous Fonseca that is ready to drink now, but will age for another 30 or 40 years. Drink now-2030+.
Anticipated maturity: 2013-2030
JancisRobinson.com – 17.5+
Deep black, with a narrow, garnet rim. Utterly different colour profile to the 1980 and 1983 wines. Brawn, black pepper and a crushed-rock note. A brooding and savoury nose, which needs extensive coaxing to give any liqueur fruit depth at all. The palate is more expressive, with blackberry liqueur and fig depth, suggesting that the wine is just going through a closed, grumpy phase. Good freshness and fine, compact tannins, built for the long haul. (TJ)
Anticipated maturity: 2025-2055