Vilafonte Series M 2021

Vilafonte Series M 2021

South Africa
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Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc

75cl * 14.0% ABV * Paarl, South Africa

The vision that brought together the three founding Vilafonté partners, is the culmination of a life-long dream and the first American and South African joint wine-making venture. Mike Ratcliffe is a leader in the Cape wine industry, Zelma Long is one of America’s best-known winemakers, who began her wine-making career at the Robert Mondavi winery where she was soon promoted to Chief Winemaker, and Dr. Phil Freese designed and planted the first Opus One vineyards. These days Vilafonté is considered one of the most pioneering wineries in South Africa.

Founded in 1996, 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 flagship range is a duo of Bordeaux blends; Series C and Series M, exclusively produced from grapes grown on its own property. The former a Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc dominant blend whilst the latter is Malbec and Merlot dominant. Both are blended for longevity and barrel-aged in a combination of new and used French oak barrels.

The Series M 2021 possesses a regal, dignified character. Beautifully nuanced, showing an attractive tension and energy. This Bordeaux-blend was aged for 22 months in 12% new French oak barriques, with the balance in older French oak. It displays a great density of red to black colour and magenta-tinged rim. Seductive aromas of cranberry and ripe cherry give way to lush notes of black raspberry, blueberry and subtle dried thyme, owing to the Merlot and Malbec components of the blend. Lifted rose petal, blonde tobacco, cacao and warm orange rind add layers of complexity.

"The 2021 Series M is Merlot dominant with 35% Malbec, 17% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Cabernet Franc. With a release date set in May of 2024, this beauty was just bottled and is already instantly impressive! It has a velvety nature that captures a beautiful wine with a compact frame, delivering immense pleasure. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is balanced, fresh and succulent, with a firm tannic grip. It needs more time, which is understandable in its youthful, unreleased state. Possessing gobs of complexity with a sturdy frame, this beauty ends with a long, spicy, incredibly food-friendly finish." 96 / 100 points, Anthony Mueller, Wine Advocate (Dec 2023)