Vilafonté, Series M 750ml 2016South Africa, Paarl
50% Malbec, 36% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Cabernet Franc
'Merlot (36%) plays 2nd fiddle to malbec in rich, velvety yet bright, fresh 2016, with 12% cab, 2% cab franc, aged 22 months in 21% new French oak. Cellarworthy, but youthfully accessible thanks to succulent fruit, subtle spice & soft tannins.' – Platter's Guide 2020 ed., 4.5* (94/100)
'The 2016 Series M has the second highest percentage of Malbec (50%), partnered with 36% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Cabernet Franc. Gentle, floral and forward, this doesn't have the depth and structure of the Series C release, but is still a charming wine, showing mint and dried herb flavours and sweet mulberry fruit. The tannins, as ever with Zelma Long's reds, are very polished. Drink 2020-24.' – Tim Atkin MW, SA Special Report 2019, 94/100
'Matured for 22 months in French oak, 21% new. Top notes of violets and crushed leaves before red and black fruit plus attractive oak spice. The palate shows concentrated fruit, fresh acidity and firm but fine tannins – very well balanced. Possesses both depth and detail.' – Christian Eedes, WineMag.co.za, 93/100
Distinctively different. 2016 was characterized by substantial drought conditions through the preceding winter and into the growing season. Warm, dry conditions in Spring were extremely favourable for a compact (one week) bloom period, leading to outstanding evenness of maturity in all vineyard blocks. The hot pre-harvest weather conditions and early picking, combined with concerns of fire risk, made for a uniquely demanding vintage. The Simonsberg mountain suffered fire damage, but fortunately, Vilafonté was not directly affected by fire nor smoke. Strategies implemented by our wine-growing team protected the vines against heat, resulting in a surprisingly healthy vineyard with bright green leaves through harvest. Harvest commenced on the 3rd of February and concluded on the 8th of March. In mid-February, the weather cooled and our Cabernet Sauvignon ripened under consistently cooler, more favourable circumstances than the early-season Merlot and Malbec, resulting in an unusually extended picking window. Severe drought conditions led to Vilafonté’s smallest per-hectare crop on record, producing lean, well-balanced wines for medium to long-term ageing.
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More Wines from this producer
AG: Antonio Galloni of Vinous.com | AM: Allen Meadows of Burghound.com | CE: Christian Eedes of Winemag.co.za | DEC: Decanter | GS: Greg Sherwood MW | JR: JancisRobinson.com | NM: Neal Martin of Vinous.com OM: Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show | PG: Platter's Guide | ST: Stephen Tanzer of Vinous.com | TA: Tim Atkin MW | VIN: Vinous.com | WA: Wine Advocate | WE: Wine Enthusiast | WM: Winemag.co.za Report | WS: Wine Spectator