Red, Ready, but will improve

2011 Vilafonté Series C, Stellenbosch

2011 Vilafonté Series C, Stellenbosch

Red | Ready, but will improve | Vilafonte | Code:  29820 | 2011 | South Africa > Stellenbosch | Other Varieties | Medium Bodied, Dry | 15.0 % alcohol


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Scores and Reviews





OTHER - Seductive Bordeaux blend, cab-based as name hints, with merlot and malbec (26/14), drops 2010's cab franc in bold and concentrated 2011 . Classic claret markers - ripe cassis, graphite and spice (courtesy 80% new oak). Smoothly delicious now and more so given time.
Platter Wine Guide ,, Nov 2014

WA - The 2011 Series C was apparently the shortest vintage in history with warm days and cool nights. It is a blend of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% merlot, 14% Malbec and 9% Cabernet Franc, aged for 22 months in new and used barrels. 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.
Neal Martin - 31/10/2014

The Producer



Vilafonté is a joint American and South African wine-making venture based in the Paarl-Simonsberg region in South Africa.

This innovative red winemaking project is a partnership between wine specialists from South Africa and the United States. Mike Ratcliffe (Managing Director, and also MD of Warwick Wine Estates), Zelma Long (one of America’s best known winemakers) and viticulturalist Dr. Phil Freese (who designed and planted the first Opus One vineyards in Napa Valley) are just three of the nine names involved in the project, all of whom believe in, “an unwavering commitment to excellence.”                

The name, Vilafonté, derives from the primary soil type of the 100-acre estate, whose character forms the foundation of the wines.  The estate covers 42 hectares with 12 hectares planted in 1998 and 1999 with Bordeaux grape varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec.
Head Winemaker, Zelma Long, was one of the first women to study oenology and viticulture at U.C. Davis. She began her winemaking career at Robert Mondavi Winery and after 10 years moved to Simi Winery in Sonoma County.

On October 27th 2014, the 2011 Vilafonté Series ‘C’ was announced as a five-star wine in Platter’s South African Wine Guide. This is the highest accolade in the South African wine industry and we are not aware of another Bordeaux blend previously having received this honour.

The Grape

Other Varieties

Other Varieties

There are over 200 different grape varieties used in modern wine making (from a total of over 1000). Most lesser known blends and varieties are traditional to specific parts of the world.

The Region



Stellenbosch is South Africa’s best-known wine region, producing a wide variety of wines from leading estates, even though it accounts for less than 20 per cent of the country’s total production. Designated wards within the wine region are Jonkershoek Valley, Simonsberg-Stellenbosch, Bottelary, Devon Valley and Papegaaiberg.

At 17,500 hectares, Stellenbosch remains the Cape's most famous and important fine wine district, thanks to its proximity to Cape Town, to the cooling influences of False Bay, its mountainous (ie Helderberg, Simonsberg), granitic topography and its centres of learning such as Elsenburg Agricultural College. 

It's notable for the refinement of its Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, especially from the likes of Glenelly EstateKeermont Vineyards Oldenburg Vineyards, Raats Family and Anwilka

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