Vilafonte Series C 2011

Vilafonte Series C 2011

South Africa
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Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc

75cl * 15.0% 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 Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc defines the style of this Series C wine. Firm, powerful and concentrated; rich in fruit at release and blended for longevity. Velvety in nature with primary red fruits While alluring in its youth, the Vilafonté Series C promises a decade or more of cellaring to realise its full potential.

The Series C 2011 is one of the most concentrated wines Vilafonté has grown, with a deep black colour & an expressive nose; leading with currants, crème de cassis, liquorice and graphite. This vintage has equal parts preserved black fruits and minerals, & beautiful espresso roast and mocha from well-integrated oak. The wine has weight and power, yet with a majestic richness, great fruit purity and incredible elegance. Just twenty-three barrels produced!

Drinking window: now - 2030

"Vibrant medium ruby color. Lovely violet lift to the cassis, blueberry and sweet oak aromas. Wonderfully fine-grained and plush on entry, with sweet dark berry, bitter chocolate and violet flavors framed by well-judged oak and harmonious acidity. Rich and broad but not at all heavy. Boasts more precision and energy than the 2011 Series M and finishes with finer tannins and more length. Drinking Window: 2020 - 2029" Stephen Tanzer, Vinous (June 2015)

"The 2011 Series C was apparently the shortest vintage in history with warm days and cool nights. There is a tangible “coolness” on the nose: not as intense of as exuberant as the previous two vintages, but replete with fine blackberry, autumn leave and mineral scents, suggesting a higher percentage of Cabernet than there actually is. The palate is medium-bodied with a supple entry. This is rounded and smooth with greater depth that the nose suggests. Here the Merlot plays a more conspicuous role than on the nose, fleshing and rounding out the finish that is harmonious and long. Very fine. Drinking Window: 2017 - 2028" Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (Oct 2014)