| SA Wine Ratings, News, Opinion & Analysis

Shiner Syrah 2014

Vilafonté winemaker Martin Smith also makes some own-label wines, one of which being Shiner, which he describes as “all my trials of that year for which I have no home”… The 2014 vintage is a blend of 90% Syrah, 5% Carignan and 5% Mourvèdre, grapes from a property situated against the Witzenberg in Tulbagh. “The […]

June 8, 2016
by Christian
with 4 Comments

Vilafonté Series M 2013

Wines don’t come more luxuriously styled than those from Vilafonté, the Paarl property which sees Mike Ratcliffe, who also oversees Warwick in partnership with two eminent US wine industry personalities, namely Phil Freese and Zelma Long. The Series M set for release is as sleek and opulent as ever. A blend of 45% Malbec, 34% […]

April 12, 2016
by Christian
with 0 Comments

Wine Enthusiast’s Top 100 Cellar Selections 2015 – three SA wines

Three SA wines feature in the “Too 100 Cellar Selections 2015″ of US publication Wine Enthusiast. These are: 62. De Toren Fusion V 2012 – score: 94 80. MR De Compostella 2012 – score: 94 93. Vilafonté Series C 2012 – score: 94 To read the list in full, click here.

November 15, 2015
by Christian
with 0 Comments

Michael Fridjhon: How to fix Merlot

In the 1960s European and American electricity providers replaced coal-fired power stations with “clean” nuclear facilities. Fifty years later, the swing of the pendulum has made atomic the dirtiest source in town. Addressing the WineLand seminar in late July, the Wine Cellar’s Roland Peens exhorted the industry to grub up its merlot vineyards and replace […]

August 24, 2015
by Michael Fridjhon
with 4 Comments

Paserene Marathon 2013

Paserene is the own label of Vilafonté winemaker Martin Smith, the series consisting of a Chardonnay (reviewed here) and a red blend called Marathon winning silver in the recent Wine Label Design Awards. The series depicts the relationship between a bird and a girl and symbolises Smith’s career as a flying winemaker and his love […]

April 8, 2015
by Christian Eedes
with 1 Comment

On Merlot in SA

Yesterday a discussion on Merlot in SA facilitated by the South African Sommelier Association and led by renowned winemaker Zelma Long and wine-growing partner Dr Phil Freese, who are  co-owners along with Warwick’s Mike Ratcliffe of Vilafonté in Paarl. Long began by saying that South Africa has a “treasure house” of terroir and hence there […]

February 3, 2015
by Christian Eedes
with 0 Comments

Tim James: On American investment in the South African wine industry

The release of the excellent new Capensis Chardonnay, and concomitant talk about the purchase of a Stellenbosch wine farm by the US company Jackson Family Wines, prompted thoughts of the extent of the American investment in Cape wine since 1994. The influx of star-spangled dollars – and star-spangled wine-people – has been greater than is […]

January 26, 2015
by Christian Eedes
with 0 Comments

Paserene Chardonnay 2013

Vilafonté winemaker Martin Smith has started his own label called Paserene, first release being a Chardonnay 2013 (R300 a bottle). From Elgin fruit, the wine underwent spontaneous fermentation before maturation in old oak, lasting 16 months. It’s classically styled with notes of lemon, vanilla, oatmeal and a little spice. Substantial but not overdone with layers […]

November 13, 2014
by Christian Eedes
with 3 Comments
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