The 2018 Series M is a blend of 45% Merlot, 41% Malbec, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Cabernet Franc that was aged for 22 months in 24% new French oak barriques with the remainder aged in used French oak barrels. This wine exhibits an alluringly deep dark garnet-purple colour and wilfully offers forth an exhilarating aromatic array of seductive notions of blueberries, boysenberries, black plum and sweet cassis. The purity and detail is very impressive with delicate violet and vanilla pod nuances combining with notes of star anise, warm buttered brown toast smothered with black cherry preserve, freshly baked pastries, hints of mocha and espresso and some subtle background cedar spice complexing oak notes. The palate shows a wonderfully expansive and multi-dimensional flavour explosion together with a carefully measured richness, pinpoint purity and truly show stopping concentration all delivered with subtlety and jaw-dropping finesse. There is boldness and creamy textured fine-grained supporting tannins but first and foremost, there is freshness, supreme balance and sublime harmony. This very well may be one of the finest young Vilafonte reds I have ever tasted on release. Drink now or cellar for 15+ years. (Score: 97+/100 Greg Sherwood MW)
Producer Information: Vilafonté
Vilafonté is the vision of the three founding partners - Mike Ratcliffe, Zelma Long and Dr. Phil Freese. Through the collaboration of these three leading industry figures, Vilafonté (which was founded in 1996) became the first American and South African joint wine-making venture, and these days is considered one of the most pioneering wineries in South Africa.
The 42 hectare estate sits on the bench of the Simonsberg Mountains with its unique vilafontes soils. It is from these unique soils – which are between 750,000 and 1.5 million years old – that the winery derives its name. The first vineyards were planted in 1998 followed by a smaller section being planted in 1999. Vilafonté’s wines are exclusively produced from grapes grown on its own property, where the Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Malbec grapes predominate.
Vilafonté produces two main wines from its premium vineyard site. Series C takes its name from being a Cabernet dominant style. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec, this is a firm, powerfuland concentrated wine, rich in fruit at release and intended for long ageing. Merlot and Malbec dominate the style of the Series M, a wine that is sensuous with a firm structure for ageing with afleshy yet soft texture.
The recently second label is Seriously Old Dirt. The Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec grapes used to produce this blend are sourced from Vilafonté’s vineyards’ younger vines.