Vilafonté Series C 2021

By , 11 September 2023

To celebrate two decades of Vilafonté, owner Mike Ratcliffe today hosted a tasting of every vintage made from the maiden 2003 to the soon-to-be-released 2021.

Current winemaker Chris de Vries joined in late-2016 and the wines really come into their own from 2017 onwards with him greater vibrancy without sacrificing the label’s trademark depth and fullness.

When retailer Wine Cellar held its Luxury Red Wine Review last year where 10 wines with an average price of over R2 000 a bottle were tasted blind, I ranked it joint third with a score of 95 while it also happened to be the audience favourite overall.

The current 2020 is a match for the 2019 in quality while the 2021 may be the best vintage of this wine ever (although the 2017 is looking very fine indeed). Tasting notes as follows:

Series C 2020
Price: R1 950
58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 10% Malbec and 8% Cabernet Franc. Matured for 22 months in barrel, 68% new. Red and black berries plus attractive oak-derived notes while the palate has a dense core of fruit, well integrated acidity and fine tannins, the finish gently savoury. Confident and sophisticated as ever. Alc: 14.5%.

CE’s rating: 95/100.

Series C 2021
Price: R1 950
57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 10% Malbec and 7% Cabernet Franc. Matured for 22 months in barrel, 81% new. Black berries plus hints of violets, herbs, vanilla and spice. Great fruit definition, bright acidity. A wine of structure and poise – succulent on entry, properly dry on the finish. Alc: 14.5%.

CE’s rating: 96/100.

Check out our South African wine ratings database.

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