Vilafonté Series C 2019 vintage.
Vilafonté Series C 2019 vintage.
Image: Vilafonté

Prestigious and premium, these flagship South African red blends deserve top spot in every cellar. From an internationally awarded winery to a sophomore release by the Cape’s most prestigious address, these critically acclaimed bottles are not to be missed.

Vilafonte Series C 2019

The recent recipient of the International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC) Outstanding Producer of The Year releases their flagship cabernet driven blend on November 1 every year. The 2019 vintage comprises 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 20% Malbec and 4% Cabernet Franc.

Tasting notes: The blend offers multilayered and fragrant notes of blackberry, cassis and baked plums together with an umami savoury note reminiscent of hoisin sauce together with opulent florals, dark chocolate and a sweet, warming nutmeg. The palate reveals resplendent blackberry fruits contrasted with a glorious salinity, aniseed and a stony minerality — intense fruit concentration, superb structure and linear, polished tannins completed with a fresh, effortlessly lengthy finish.

Waterford The Jem 2015

The estate’s renowned flagship wine is a master blend of different red varietals that collectively reflect the best of both the vintage and the diversity of terroir of the estate. The 2015 comprises of eight different grape varietals all grown on the farm — 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Shiraz, 9% Mourvedre, 6% Petit Verdot, 5% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 3% Sangiovese and 3% Barbera.

Tasting notes: Notes of rich dark chocolate and plum fruit, together with layers of earthiness, clove spice, crushed violets and both dark and red berries. The palate effortlessly complements the aromatics and is superbly balanced with velvet-like tannins contributing to the wonderfully textured and weighty mouthfeel with a vibrant acidity adding elegance to the long-lasting finish.

Waterford The Jem 2015.
Waterford The Jem 2015.
Image: Supplied

The Ellerman 2019

Cape Town’s most exclusive address has released the second vintage of their lauded, eponymous, red blend, The Ellerman — standing up to the standard of its predecessor, the wine has too been awarded five stars by the Platter’s Guide. The wine — a collaboration with acclaimed winemaker Erika Obermeyer of Erika Obermeyer Wines — was released last week at the prestigious House at an event hosted by wine personality Dan Nicholl — and comprises 61% Syrah, 21% Grenache Noir, 15% Cinsault and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Tasting notes: A magnificent wine with a gorgeously perfumed nose — showing vibrant aromatics of red cherries, blackberry fruit, pepper spice and black olives — and a multifaceted, layered palate. Structure from the Syrah, ripe, beautiful fruit from the Cinsault, grainy tannins from the Grenache and the touch of Cabernet Sauvignon do a magnificent job of bringing everything together creating a palate textured mouthfeel and a fresh and lingering finish.

The Ellerman 2019.
The Ellerman 2019.
Image: Supplied

Keermont The Amphitheatre 2015

The recent addition to the acclaimed Stellenbosch winery takes shape in a repositioning of their flagship, originally called the Estate Reserve Red. The Amphitheatre — the name paying tribute to the unique natural amphitheatre in which Keermont is situated — sees the creation of a more focused, much smaller blend with winemaker Alex Starey first selecting the best blocks, hand harvesting small batches of grapes (specifically selected according to ripeness) before vinification, followed by a careful barrel selection to create this magnificent wine — a distinct and unique portrayal of the Estate’s terroir. The wine is a blend of 32% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Cabernet Franc, 22% Merlot, 17% Petit Verdot, 5% Malbec and 1% Syrah.

Tasting notes:  Amphitheatre opens with beautifully perfumed florals of violet, citrus blossom and fynbos together with dusty, ripe strawberry aromas complemented by hints of baking spices. Tight and effortless, the palate follows through with firm chalky tannins and evolving notes of ripe plum, red berries, dried, savoury herbs and a touch of oak tannin. A long and succulent finish with firm chalky tannins.

Keermont The Amphitheatre 2015.
Keermont The Amphitheatre 2015.
Image: Supplied
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