This year, as we commemorate the bicentenary of the House of Fonseca, we also celebrate the 200th anniversary of the final engagement of the Napoleonic Wars, the Battle of Waterloo.
Fonseca began trading on 8th April, 1815 with a purchase of 32 pipes of Port.
Four years earlier, Anglo-Portuguese forces under the command of Wellington had expelled Napoleon's army from Portugal after a long and bitter conflict. Peace had since returned to the country and prosperity to the Port trade. But it was only the previous winter that the French army had finally been driven out of Spain ending the war in the peninsula. Napoleon continued to cast his shadow across Europe and, as Fonseca was launching itself as a successful Port shipper, the allied powers were gathering their armies to confront him.
On Sunday 18th June, 1815, ten weeks after Fonseca began trading, the final heroic battle of the Napoleonic Wars was fought near the village of Waterloo in what is now Belgium. The defeat of Napoleon's Grande Armée at the hands of the Prussian army and of Anglo-Dutch forces led by the Duke of Wellington ended 26 years of conflict between France and the European powers and is one of the key turning points in modern history.
Waterloo will be widely commemorated in Britain during the coming months and the celebrations will intensify as we approach the anniversary of the battle on 18th June.
Wellington spent much of his career leading an allied army of British and Portuguese soldiers against the forces of Napoleon during the peninsular campaigns. What better wine in which to toast the bravery and fortitude of the Iron Duke and his men than Port, the symbol of Anglo-Portuguese friendship and alliance.
In tribute to Wellington's victory, Fonseca has selected a full-bodied, robust and vigorous reserve blend for bottling as a special Waterloo Edition Port, a fitting wine with which to celebrate the Battle of Waterloo in the weeks to come.
TASTING NOTE: A deep and youthful ruby colour, with an intense, fruity nose crammed with blackberry, blueberry, cherry and dark plum aromas. The palate is full-bodied and round, with a luscious, silky, velvety texture.