EDITOR’S PICKS #2: Wines to watch at the 2021 Cape Fine & Rare Wine Auction

In the second and final instalment of Stellenbosch Visio editor Francé Beyers’s top Cape Fine & Rare Wine Auction picks, she sets her sights on five more vinous gems to go under the hammer at this year’s elegant occasion. Think Single Vineyard Chardonnays, dashing Bordeaux-style red blends, a super-exclusive jeroboam, complex Cabernet Sauvignons and a South African icon hailing from 2009.

The prestigious event, to be held on 22 May 2021 in partnership with international auction house Christie’s, allows wine collectors and aficionados the exclusive opportunity to bid on some of South Africa’s finest and rarest wines. Recognised as one of the world’s five major wine auctions, the Cape Fine & Rare Wine Auction undoubtedly is South Africa’s premier auction of fine, rare and iconic wines.

In the light of Covid-19 regulations and precautions, 2021’s auction will be presented in a new hybrid format: auction attendees can either bid in person at the Rupert Museum in Stellenbosch, or raise their paddles virtually via a live streaming service.

Delaire Graff Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2014

Delaire Graff Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2014
Picture courtesy of Delaire Graff Estate

The ultimate Cape Winelands experience, Delaire Graff Estate is dedicated to beauty in its many forms. Much like polishing a diamond to reveal its brilliance, jeweller Laurence Graff has transformed an extraordinary natural setting into a world-class destination for wine, art and cuisine. With 20 hectares of vineyards situated on the slopes of the Botmaskop Mountain planted with Bordeaux reds and Chardonnay grapes, Delaire Graff’s unique mountainous terroir and quest for perfection have produced one of the finest Cabernet Sauvignons in the country. The estate was also ranked in the top 50 wineries by the World’s Best Vineyards, placing first within the African continent.

Complex yet refined, the Delaire Graff Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2014 is a sophisticated expression of a classic claret. A potpourri of dark fruit and spice is abundant on delivery while an intriguing earthiness retains the fingerprint of the rich soil in which the grapes are grown. Aged in French oak barrels, the timeless subtlety of its velvety tannins offers a luxurious elegance. The Delaire Graff Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2014 is a Single Vineyard Wine from the estate’s ultimate block and made with only the finest barrel selection.

Reserve price: R5,700 per case
Number of cases: 1
Case size: 6 x 750ml
Lot no: 314
Ageability: 10 years
Accolades: Tim Atkin Report 2017 (93), Platter (4½ star)

Kanonkop Wine Estate Paul Sauer 2009

Picture courtesy of Kanonkop Wine Estate

Situated on the slopes of the Simonsberg Mountain, Kanonkop Wine Estate is often described as the South African equivalent of a Grand Cru. Located on the outskirts of picturesque Stellenbosch, the estate is owned by the fourth generation of the Krige family. Did you know that Kanonkop’s long-term winemaker, Abrie Beeslaar, has not once, but thrice pocketed the title of International Wine & Spirit Competition’s (IWSC) Winemaker of the Year?

Kanonkop’s Paul Sauer was first produced in 1981 as one of the first Bordeaux-style blends in South Africa and is widely regarded as one of the most iconic wines from our country. Kanonkop also became the first winery in the world to win the trophy for Best Blended Red Wine for the fourth time at the prestigious IWSC in 2013 with this 2009 vintage.

Reserve price: R9,000 per case
Number of cases: 2
Case size: 6 x 750ml
Lot no: 89, 90
Wine: Cabernet Sauvignon 69%, Cabernet Franc 12%, Merlot 19%

Uva Mira Mountain Vineyards O.T.V. 2015


Uva Mira Mountain Vineyards, nestled against Stellenbosch’s Helderberg Mountain Range, is an area boasting some of the oldest soils in the world. Uva Mira’s high-altitude vineyards, located only nine kilometres from the Atlantic Ocean, enjoy the cool climate needed for the estate’s fine wines to express elegance, minerality, purity of fruit and longevity. Uva Mira wines are handcrafted, using only grapes from vineyard sites on the property to truly express the unique traits of the remarkable location.

Single varietals Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon have been masterfully blended to enhance their individual virtues of flavour and texture in the Cabernet Franc-led Bordeaux-style red blend that is the O.T.V. 2015. The incredibly concentrated and seductive nose showing intense perfumed aromas of deep blackberry and cherry, is seamlessly entwined with fresh bouquet garni and tobacco leaf. The harmonious palate reveals impressive layers of deep black fruit, graphite, sleek spices and delectable earthiness. The wine delivers profound purity and prestige, with mouth-watering freshness, fine, velvety tannins and an outstanding dry, savoury finish. This wine displays the unquestionable potential to age majestically.

Reserve price: R9,000 per case
Number of cases: 1
Case size: 6 x 750ml
Lot no: 232
Wine: Cabernet Franc 52%, Cabernet Sauvignon 48%
Accolades: Tim Atkin Report 2018 (96), Decanter World Wine Awards 2018 (94), Six Nations Wine Challenge 2018 (Double Gold, Trophy runner-up)

Uva Mira Mountain Vineyards The Single Tree Chardonnay 2015


This Single Vineyard Wine, handcrafted from a high-altitude vineyard located at 420 metres above sea level, delivers a layered and intricate nose, displaying vibrant aromas of white peach, jasmine and citrus rind with subtler notes of lime, light spice and earthiness in the background. A profound wine of great class, balance and complexity. Elegant stone fruit flavours, chalky minerality and fresh linear acidity are perfectly complemented by a soft, creamy texture and culminate in a dry, lingering finish. A powerful and appealing style of Chardonnay crafted in a classic style with beautiful concentration, seamless balance, fantastic ageability and elegance.

Reserve price: R4,500 per case
Number of cases: 1
Case size: 6 x 750ml
Lot no: 290
Accolades: Tim Atkin (96), International Wine Challenge 2018 (95), The Drinks Business Global Chardonnay Masters 2016 (Gold)

Vilafonté Series C 2005

Vilafonté co-founder and managing partner Mike Ratcliffe. Picture courtesy of Vilafonté

At the first ever Cape Fine & Rare Wine Auction in 2019, a record price of R22,000 was reached for Vilafonté’s single jeroboam bottle of Series C 2005. This year, the second bottle of this treasured liquid will be released for auction. The combination of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc at a total of 72% of the blend, provides Series C with a tightly structured foundation making it a vintage to be reckoned with. The Series C 2005 will show additional development over the next eight years, with potential to be cellared for another 10 years.

Did you know that only 10 jeroboams of the Series C 2005 were produced?

Reserve price: R15,000 per case
Number of cases: 1
Case size: 1 x 5ℓ
Lot no: 350
Wine: Cabernet Sauvignon 66%, Cabernet Franc 6%, Merlot 22%, Malbec 6%

Raise your paddle

Make sure to register as a bidder and private buyer for this not-to-be-missed opportunity to acquire truly special South African wines.

MISSED PART 1? EDITOR’S PICKS #1: Wines to watch at the 2021 Cape Fine & Rare Wine Auction