Pedigree: Villiera is named for a French Huguenot with the last name of de Villiers. A considerable number of French Huguenots, who were Protestants, emigrated to South Africa in the 1680's upon the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. The Edict of Nantes granted religious freedoms to all the French, but with its revocation, Catholicism became the only permissible religion and Protestantism was outlawed. The Huguenots, facing persecution and even death, fled France for religious freedoms.
Villiera is owned by the 4th generation Grier family that arrived in South Africa from the United Kingdom in the 1920's. Today they farm 170 Ha. Villiera is very famous for its bottle fermented sparkling wines (Methode Cap Classique), 40% of production. The rest is split evenly between white and red. Villiera is also famous for its excellent quality / price ratio as you will see. The wine is estate bottled. In 2006 the Griers bought a property in France's Roussillon region and produced wine there too.
Grape Varieties: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine is sourced 70% from Villiera’s vineyards, known for their elegance, and 30% from Devon Valley which contributes a modicum of fruit intensity.
Vinification: Grapes were harvested at optimum ripeness to ensure ripe tannins. The grapes were fully crushed and fermented in pump over fermenters at 25 °C. Full MLF occurred in tank before blending and racking to barrels.
Aging: The wine was matured for a year in French oak barrels, 20% new, before final blending and bottling.
Alcohol: 13.72%; Residual Sugar: 3.4 g/l; Total Acid: 5.7 g/l; pH: 3.56
Color: The wine is a deep, ruby mulberry color, just on the edge of opacity. Color shows very little age.
Bouquet: The bouquet is redolent of sweet, ripe blackberries. There is a hint of cedar and pencil shavings to add to the complexity, perhaps a touch of cordite too.
Palate: The palate shows classic, cassis fruit and some of the spice evident on the nose. The tannins are firm as befits Cabernet Sauvignon but they are ripe and seamless. The balance between the rich fruit and the minerally grip of the tannins is beautifully poised, the whole interwoven with subtle, classy oak. The finish is authoritative and persistent. Balanced for current consumption, it will also age with benefit for a further 10 years.
When to Drink: Drink now through 2030
Serving Temperature: 58°F - 62°F
Food Pairing: Perfect with a medium rare tomahawk steak, and rosemary marinated lamb. Try with a soft white cheese such as a ripened Brie.100% Cabernet Sauvignon picked at optimum ripeness. The wine is a lovely marriage of 70% estate fruit contributing classic Villiera elegance and 30% Devon Valley fruit contributing greater intensity. The grapes were crushed and fermented at 25°C and underwent MLF in tank before blending and racking into barrels. The wine was matured for 12 months in French oak barrels, 20% new, before final blending and bottling. The 2020 vintage shows gorgeous dark berry fruit with a hint of spice on the nose. The palate shows beautiful poise combined with richness and soft tannins. The balance is further enhanced by moderate 13.7% alcohol. Delicious now it will improve for 5 years and last at that plateau for a further 5 years.