This is another serious effort from the Vilafonte team after last year’s award winning 2019 release. The 2020 blend consists of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 4% Malbec and 2% Cabernet Franc and was matured for 18 months in older French oak barriques. Moving more towards a distinctly Cabernet Sauvignon dominated blend compared to earlier editions which often featured more Merlot and Malbec, this rich ruby red coloured wine shows all the classic aromatics of black currant, strawberry shortbread, gingerbread cookie dough, cherry tobacco and hints of vanilla pod spice. Always a wine that unashamedly aspires to a higher, more hedonistic mantra, like the 2019, this 2020 exhibits a supremely well-honed, polished, elegant textural mouthfeel with effortlessly friendly tannins, an intense but weightless black and red berry fruit concentration and a plush, long, tightly focused finished. Knowing that this wine traditionally holds a lot of secrets, I reviewed it over two consecutive night’s tasting but came to the same conclusion in the end – that this is yet another very polished wine with age-worthy credentials that will appeal to seasoned collectors and the man in the street alike. A serious wine that is also seriously delicious! Drink from release and over the next 10 to 15 years.
92/100 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.