Red wine is the perfect way to chill this long weekend. Picture: Pixabay

Wine Cellar tasters have determined SA’s luxury red wines for you to enjoy this long weekend!

Vilafonte Series C 2015 has been voted as South Africa’s top luxury red. Leading online retailer, WineCellar.co.za, hosted 70 tasters in Cape Town and Johannesburg earlier this month for a blind luxury taste-off. 

This public tasting which is hosted every two years, is designed to determine SA’s most desired wine in a line-up of ten of the most sought-after and expensive red wines.

Vilafonte was placed 1st in Cape Town and 1st in Johannesburg in the most decisive result ever. An amazing achievement, considering it has placed in the top 3 in both previous tastings. 

Kanonkop Black Label Pinotage 2016 and Rust en Vrede 1964 2015 were placed second and third respectively. 

  • Vilafontes refers to the unique soil on which the Vilafonté vines are grown and it is one of the world’s oldest soil types. Produced on the Paarl side of the Simonsberg Mountain, Vilafonté has consistently been regarded as one of SA’s most luxurious wines ever since their 2003 release. It is closer to Napa Valley rather than Bordeaux in style, showing a generous fruit-sweetness and plush tannin that seems to be adored by South Africa palates. Not only exquisitely packaged, the Bordeaux-blend Series 2015 is possibly the finest yet. A rich and succulent vintage that can be drunk early, it will also age well for a decade or more.

Roland Peens, Director of Wine Cellar fine wine merchants. Pic supplied

  • Kanonkop Black Label, which was placed first in 2016 is arguably South Africa’s most acclaimed Pinotage. It heralds from vines that date back to 1953 on the famous Kanonkop farm and it is aged in 100% new oak. It is extremely impressive when young, showing fine cherry fruit, beautiful floral notes and very fine tannins. Produced since 2006, the Black Label also has an amazing ability to age.
  • Rust en Vrede 1964 is the flagship Red from this famous property. The 2015 is a Caberent Sauvignon Syrah blend from the finest grapes on the Helderberg. It is exquisitely balanced, fine and powerful with a luxurious finish that lasts for minutes on the palate. It too will age well in this benchmark Stellenbosch vintage. Rust en Vrede seems to have climbed back to the top of South African Red Wine.

Roland Peens is the director of winecellar.co.za and it's also where the full line-up of the wines tasted are available.