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Named after the Fonseca estate in Alentejo, this wine is impressively rich and structured. It has firm tannins that are balanced by dense black fruits and crisp acidity. A blend of Grand Noir (the local name for Baga), Trincadeira and Aragones, it's a very complete wine, fermented in clay amphora and stone lagars. It's still maturing, so drink from 2019. 

Wine Enthusiast
December 15, 2017

Fermented partially in old clay amphoras, this is a rich wine that has managed to retain freshness as well. The blend includes Grand Noir, a grape with red juice, as well as Trincadeira and Aragonez. lts density is revealed as it opens up, giving ripe red fruits, solid tannins and a dry core. Editors' Choice.

Wine Enthusiast
December 2014

Named after the owner of the estate in the Alentejo that the Fonseca family bought in 1986, this wine is packed with firm, generous tannins and ripe, juicy black fruits. It has some oak aging that has given the wine a polished feel. With its concentration, structure and final acidity, it will age well. Drink from 2018.

Wine Enthusiast
June 2016

Domingos Soares Franco began experimenting with fermentation in amphorae after his family’s company bought the Casa Agricola José de Sousa Rosado Fernandes in 1986. Locals were using their massive, century-old clay pots as planters at the time; he bought up as many intact vessels as he could and filled the winery, adding more when they exploded in the middle of fermentation, in the middle of the night. The technique and style of this wine has shifted over the years, and this is the first vintage in recent memory that has found such a remarkable balance. A blend of grand noir (50 percent) with trincadeira and aragones, most of it fermented cool in stainless steel. A small portion fermented in clay pots charges the wine with complexity, creating a rainbow of color in the flavors, from strawberry to cassis, orange and blackberry. It’s volatile when first opened, but air allows the wine to integrate, firmly shaped by the tannins. Decant it for a glimpse into the Alentejo’s past.

Wine & Spirits
March 2017

The 2012 Jos? de Sousa is a blend of 48% Grand Noir, 32% Trincadeira and 20% Aragon?s, aged for nine months in a mixture of American and French oak (30% new). A nice value, this has some character and distinctiveness, with a touch of herbs, raspberries and rhubarb on the nose and palate. It doesn't have a lot of concentration, but it is nicely structured and balanced, with silky texture and wonderful intensity of flavor on the finish. Still on the upswing, this has room to improve in the cellar over the next few years. With a fresh, sunny feel, it should drink well over most of the next decade, or more. Let's take that cautiously for the moment.

Wine Advocate
December 2015

This is an open juicy and fruity wine. It has soft tannins and perfumed acidity that is already integrated into the structure of the wine. With blackberry and red plum flavors, it is easy and generous, ready to drink now.

Wine Enthusiast
February 2016
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