Vilafonte Series M 2012 Front Label
Vilafonte Series M 2012 Front LabelVilafonte Series M 2012 Front Bottle Shot

Vilafonte Series M 2012

  • WS93
  • WE92
750ML / 14% ABV
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750ML / 14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The Series M 2012 exhibits a dense purple color with a brilliant red rim. Aromatically the wine offers a smorgasbord of red fruit characters: plums, dark cherry preserves, and dried cranberries. Underlying these are more mature aromas of dried flowers, balsamic and fruit cake. Open and inviting, this vintage is notable for its silky, succulent entry, lovely weight, resolved tannin, ripe red fruit flavors, and long finish. With only a modest maturation in new French oak, purity and clarity of aromatic expression characterize this elegant blend of the Series M Malbecs, Merlots, and Cabernets from their Vilafonté vineyard.

Blend: 48% Merlot, 35% Malbec, 17% Cabernet Sauvignon

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WS 93
Wine Spectator
Very ripe and suave, with gorgeous blackberry, blueberry and plum notes that glide together seamlessly, while alluring spice and black tea accents infuse the background. The long, refined finish has a well-inlaid graphite spine that adds counterpoint to the fruit. A beauty. Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Drink now through 2022.
WE 92
Wine Enthusiast
This blend of 48% Merlot, 35% Malbec and 17% Cabernet Sauvignon is plush and accessible, with attractively ripe notes of brambly blackberry, raspberry and cherry on the nose and palate. Soft, spicy tannins lend the wine a crushed-velvet texture, while hints of licorice, vanilla bean, fruitcake spice and black tea add depth to the medium-weight mouthfeel and linger long through the finish. Drinkable now, but should hold well through 2020.
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Vilafonte

Vilafonte

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Vilafonte, South Africa
Vilafonte Winery Image
Vilafonté is the first American and South African joint wine-making venture within the global wine community. This ground-breaking red wine project is a partnership between a well respected group of 'quality driven' wine specialists from South Africa and the United States. The name, Vilafonté, derives from the primary soil type of the 100 acre estate, whose character forms the foundation of the wines.

Zelma Long is Head Winemaker for the Vilafonté project. Zelma is one of America's best known winemakers. One of the first women to study enology and viticulture at U.C. Davis, she began her winemaking career at Robert Mondavi Winery, rapidly working into the Chief Winemaker position.

Vilafonté's General Manager is Michael Ratcliffe. Mike qualified as a business major before attending the University of Adelaide. Mike is Managing Director of his family estate, Warwick which is recognized as one of South Africa's foremost wine estates.

Phil Freese is head 'wine-grower' and creator of the Vilafonté vineyard which he calls "Different by Design". Phil spent 13 years as Robert Mondavi’s Vice-President of Wine Growing. Phil designed the first Opus One vineyards, and initiated the remote sensing project with NASA that has spawned a new wave of tools for viticulture analysis and quality enhancement.

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With an important wine renaissance in full swing, impressive red and white bargains abound in South Africa. The country has a particularly long and rich history with winemaking, especially considering its status as part of the “New World.” In the mid-17th century, the lusciously sweet dessert wines of Constantia were highly prized by the European aristocracy. Since then, the South African wine industry has experienced some setbacks due to the phylloxera infestation of the late 1800s and political difficulties throughout the following century.

Today, however, South Africa is increasingly responsible for high-demand, high-quality wines—a blessing to put the country back on the international wine map. Wine production is mainly situated around Cape Town, where the climate is generally warm to hot. But the Benguela Current from Antarctica provides brisk ocean breezes necessary for steady ripening of grapes. Similarly, cooler, high-elevation vineyard sites throughout South Africa offer similar, favorable growing conditions.

South Africa’s wine zones are divided into region, then smaller districts and finally wards, but the country’s wine styles are differentiated more by grape variety than by region. Pinotage, a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault, is the country’s “signature” grape, responsible for red-fruit-driven, spicy, earthy reds. When Pinotage is blended with other red varieties, like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah or Pinot Noir (all commonly vinified alone as well), it is often labeled as a “Cape Blend.” Chenin Blanc (locally known as “Steen”) dominates white wine production, with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc following close behind.

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

Tasting Notes for Bordeaux Blends

Bordeaux Blends are dry, red wines and generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, black cherry plum, graphite, cedar and violet. Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines, modeled after the Right Bank, are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure.

Perfect Food Pairings for Bordeaux Blends

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secrets for Bordeaux Blends

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

STC320170_2012 Item# 235858

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