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Ratings & Reviews

Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

The Wine Advocate - Neal Martin - April 28, 2017

85 Points "The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon has a light cigar box and dusty blackberry nose that needs more definition and freshness. The palate is medium-bodied with chewy tannin, quite sharp with a balsamic note running right through this Cabernet, attenuating rather severely on the finish."


Chardonnay 2015

The Wine Advocate - Neal Martin - April 28, 2017

87 Points "The 2015 Chardonnay offers light green apple and dried honey scents on the nose. The palate is brisk and breezy on the entry with a fine line of acidity, a touch of tangerine and grapefruit with decent weight on the fresh finish. Enjoy over the next 3-4 years."

Chardonnay 2014

Wine Enthusiast - LAUREN BUZZEO - May 01, 2017

92 Points "This wine shows superb balance between ripe fruit tones, attractive oak influence and natural freshness. It leads with scents of lightly toasted nuts, orange cream, freshly dried grass and yellow flowers. The medium-weight palate offers decadent flavors of toasted apple skin and brioche, with orange-flavored acidity that lift's the wine's richness. An evolving finish seals the deal. Drink now–2020."

Chardonnay 2012

Wine Spectator - James Molesworth - February 19, 2016

89 Points "A honeyed style, with a mellow edge to the creamed peach, mango and melon flavors, lined with hints of ginger and warm piecrust. An echo of matchstick and a touch of zip keep this balanced in the end. Drink now."

Chardonnay 2011 Archived REVIEWS

Wine Spectator - James Molesworth - December 15, 2014

89 Points "Honeysuckle, green and yellow apple, melon, pear and bitter almond notes all weave together in this full-bodied Chardonnay, with a hint of matchstick lingering on the finish. Drink now."

Chardonnay 2010 Archived REVIEWS

Wine Spectator - James Molesworth - November 15, 2013

91 Points "Shows a mature edge, with graham cracker and ginger notes along the edges, featuring singed hazelnut, matchstick, glazed pear, apricot and green fig accents. The lush, spice-tinged finish has depth and cut. Distinctive." - Neal Martin - December 27, 2012

92 Points "The 2010 Chardonnay, fermented and matured in French oak (50% new) has a vivacious nose of lime, melon and tangerine with superb definition and sense of joie-de-vivre. The palate is medium-bodied with fresh acidity, a vibrant seam of crisp lemon peel that leads to a refined nose with subtle tropical fruit that shimmer with excitement. This is a superb Chardonnay from one of South Africa’s grandees and winemaker, Chris Williams. Drink now-2016." - Thomas Bohrer - February 03, 2012

89 Points "Spicy, fresh and well-defined with hints of green apple. This is a pleasant and nicely put together wine."

Chardonnay 2009 Archived REVIEWS

The Wine Advocate - Neal Martin - August 2011

90 Points "The palate is well-defined with subtle lime, green apple and apricot flavours. The oak is well-integrated lending the taut finish an attractive creamy veneer."

Chardonnay 2008 Archived REVIEWS

Wine Spectator - James Molesworth - December 15, 2010

89 Points "A broad style, offering grilled nut, butter, warm phyllo dough and glazed pear flavors that all glide through the toasty finish. A crowd-pleaser."

Chardonnay 2007 Archived REVIEWS

Wine Spectator - James Molesworth - April 30, 2009

89 points "Bold in style, with an overt grilled brioche aroma. Ripe on the palate, showing a long graham cracker, golden raisin and white peach profile. Rich, toasty finish."

Chardonnay 2005 Archived REVIEWS

Wine Spectator - James Molesworth - March 31, 2007

Highly Recommended S "Glazed pear, apple and hazelnut combine with lemon zest, mineral and matchstick notes in this rich, chiseled wine. The long, vibrant, mouthwatering finish brings you back for more."

Wine Spectator Online - James Molesworth - February 09, 2007

92 points "With glazed pear, apple and hazelnut combined with lemon zest, mineral and matchstick notes, this is both rich and chiseled, with a long, vibrant, mouthwatering finish that brings you back for more. Big improvement here since winemaker Chris Williams took over in 2004."

Chardonnay 2003 Archived REVIEWS

The Wall Street Journal - Adam Cohen - September 01, 2006

"At Meerlust on a warm day just after the harvest in March, I tasted the estate's four wines: a Chardonnay, a Merlot, a Pinot Noir and the Rubicon blend. All were excellent, but the Rubicon and the Chardonnay -- with a creamy finish that reminded me of some of the best French white Burgundies -- were my favorites. Meerlust, which means "love of the sea," is within range of cooling ocean breezes, giving its Chardonnay a crispness that can't be found in wines made just a few kilometers farther inland."

Wine Enthusiast - M.D. - March 2006

88 Points "Heavy notes of vanilla and caramel, char and menthol herald the oak in this wine. But on the palate, the oak is well integrated with white stone fruit and creme brulee flavors. Seemingly soft at first, this wine has a strong, fruity core that carries it right through the buttery finish."

Wine Spectator - J.M. - August 31, 2005

90 Points "This has alluring mineral, dried pineapple, fig, pie crust and matchstick flavors, with a long, detailed, smoky finish. Delicious, character-filled. Drink now through 2006."


Merlot 2014

The Wine Advocate - Neal Martin - April 28, 2017

84 Points "The 2014 Merlot was rather simple and smudged on the nose with light red cherry fruit. The palate is rounded and smooth on the entry: soy-tinged red cherry and raspberry fruit with a short but easygoing finish."

Merlot 2005 Archived REVIEWS

Wine Enthusiast - Susan Kostrzewa - June 2009

88 points "This Merlot has a spirited nose of plum, black cherry and spice, followed by ripe fruit and spicy flavors on the palate. Soft tannins and a lingering finish give the wine an elegant easydrinking appeal."

Merlot 2003 Archived REVIEWS

Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar - Stephen Tanzer - March 2009

89 points "Saturated deep red. Complex nose melds plum, mocha, menthol and chocolate. Dense, supple and serious, with tobacco, earth and mineral tones to go with the plummy fruit. Soil-driven and slightly rustic merlot in an old-fashioned style but with strong material. Finishes with broad, palate-dusting tannins and good persistence."

Wine Enthusiast - Susan Kostrzewa - June 2008

89 points "Savory and spicy aromas and an enticing mélange of spiced wood, cigar and berry give this wine an elegant sumptuous edge. Balanced, smooth and unobtrusive in the way of a good Merlot, the wine still has substance and a good finish."

Merlot 2001 Archived REVIEWS

Tri Nations Wine Competition - August 2006

First Place Winner, Merlot Category

Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir 2016 - James Suckling - August 03, 2017

93 Points "Fresh black fruits, cherries and wild strawberries on the nose. Balanced and medium body with elegant ripeness and good fruits. Ripe strawberries. Good length. Really enjoyable now and can wait as well. Always a favorite of mine."

The Wine Advocate - Neal Martin - April 28, 2017

86 Points "The 2016 Pinot Noir has a light bouquet that doesn't really grip the grape variety with both hands. It is clean but rather anonymous. The palate is well balanced with sappy red berry fruit, a keen line of acidity with a rather short but pleasant finish."

Pinot Noir 2012 Archived REVIEWS

Wine Spectator - James Molesworth - December 31, 2014

89 Points "Offers spice, savory, tea leaf, dried cherry and red currant aromas and flavors, with the tea edge and a blood orange hint holding sway on the elegant but persistent finish. Drink now through 2016." - Neal Martin - October 31, 2013

89 Points "The 2012 Pinot Noir is raised in 60% Allier French oak. It offers an elegant bouquet with light strawberry and raspberry scents that is well-defined and carries the oak well. The palate is medium-bodied with light tannin, clean fresh Pinot fruit, and a smooth, harmonious finish. This is a lovely young, unpretentious Pinot Noir to enjoy over the next couple of years."

Pinot Noir 2011 Archived REVIEWS

Neal Martin's Wine Journal - Neal Martin - December 27, 2012

89 Points "The 2010 Pinot Noir is raised in French oak for 11 months (70% new). It offers a more fruit-driven bouquet of ripe redcurrant and red cherry fruit with fine delineation. The palate is a little hard on the entry with slightly aggressive acidity. However, the finish shows fine crispness with lively Morello and orange peel on the smoky finish. Drink now-2016." - Thomas Bohrer - February 03, 2012

90 Points "Lovely crisp nose of white pepper, raspberries and red currents. Very Burgundian in style with fine tannins. This was a pleasant surprise."

Pinot Noir 2009 Archived REVIEWS

The Wine Advocate - Neal Martin - August 2011

89 Points "The palate is well balanced and fresh on the entry with fine tannins, crisp raspberry and red currant fruit that leads to a pleasing taut finish. Certainly, this is one of South Africa’s better examples of Pinot Noir."

Pinot Noir 2007 Archived REVIEWS

Wine Spectator - James Molesworth - February 28, 2010

88 Points "A broad, earthy style, offering mulled cherry and dark spice notes mingling with a hint of briar that lengthens the slightly edgy finish. For fans of the old school."

Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar - Stephen Tanzer - March 2009

89 points "Medium red. Redcurrant, tobacco, menthol, spices and earth on the nose; smells like a California pinot from the '70s. Savory and soil-driven, with a penetrating quality to the flavors of strawberry, redcurrant, smoke, tobacco and earth. Not a particularly fruity style but finishes aromatic and suave, with fine-grained tannins and very good definition and lift."


Rubicon 2013 - James Suckling - August 03, 2017

92 Points "Black plums aromas with minty and green olive character. Balanced palate with a medium body, chewy tannins, and ripe plums. Savory finish. Well made. A classic blend that is always excellent. Blend of 67% cabernet sauvignon, 14% merlot, 12% cabernet franc and 7% petit verdot. Enjoy now."

The Wine Advocate - Neal Martin - April 28, 2017

87 Points "The 2013 Rubicon is a blend of 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc plus minor addition from other classic varieties. It offers baked cherry, raspberry coulis and sage/oregano scents on the nose that is powerful, if missing a little finesse. The palate is medium-bodied with slightly bitter tannin: cola-tinged dark berry fruit with a sweet but rather old-fashioned finish that feels predictable juxtaposed against some of Stellenbosch's more progressive red blends."

Rubicon 2010 Archived REVIEWS

The Wine Advocate - Neal Martin - November 30, 2015

89 Points "A blend of 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot that matured for 24 months in 60% new oak from Nevers, the 2010 Rubicon has a well-defined bouquet with blackberry mixed with blueberry fruit, a touch of Pauillac-like mint developing in the glass, but remaining quite backward despite aeration in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with firm tannins in the mouth matched by good acidity. It is structured and quite masculine, the tobacco-stained Cabernet driving this along with the Cabernet Franc imparting a more savory element towards the finish."

Rubicon 2009 Archived REVIEWS

Wine Spectator - James Molesworth - February 28, 2015

91 Points "Distinctive, with singed iron and lilac hints, followed by a mix of boysenberry, blackberry and black currant fruit flavors. Dried star anise, cinnamon and black tea notes fill the finish, with iron-coated grip underneath. Tastes like a meeting of Cabernet and Nebbiolo. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2020."

Rubicon 2008 Archived REVIEWS

The Wine Advocate - Neal Martin - December 27, 2012

92 Points "It has a well-defined bouquet of blackberry, black truffle and tar. The palate is well balanced with supple tannins. There is a core of earthy red berry fruit infused with allspice, cumin and a touch of sage. The finish is very well defined and long. This is a far better Rubicon than the 2007, one worthy of its iconic status. Drink 2013-2020+"

Rubicon 2007 Archived REVIEWS

Wine Enthusiast - Lauren Buzzeo - May 2012

92 Points Cellar Selection #100 of Top 100 Cellar Selections -- "One of the best vintages of Rubicon to date, and for the price it’s a fantastic value that’s great for building up your cellar. Right now, the wine is still young and tight, with firm, gripping tannins that need some time to mellow. Fortunately, there’s a great concentrated black-fruit core and enough acidity alongside the tannins to support long-term aging. Spicy and earthy, with accents of black tea, cedar and crushed violets." - Thomas Bohrer - February 03, 2012

89+ Points "This is a nicely balanced and well-defined wine. Black cherries, medium-bodied with a touch of mint."

International Wine Cellar - Stephen Tanzer - April 01, 2011

92+ Points "Bright, saturated ruby-red. Brooding aromas of cassis, dark chocolate, licorice, violet and pepper. Dense, broad and sweet, with youthful medicinal reserve to the intense flavors of dark berries, tobacco and spices. Already shows a plush texture but there's terrific sappy energy at the core. Finishes very long and aromatic, with fine, building tannins and the structure for long aging."

Rubicon 2006 Archived REVIEWS

Wine Spectator - James Molesworth - November 15, 2010

90 Points "Ripe and dense, but sleek and focused, with a lovely core of mulled black currant, warm fig paste and tobacco, laced with mouthwatering dark olive and iron notes that help the finish stretch out nicely. Has solid grip in reserve, too."

Wine Enthusiast - Susan Kostrzewa - September 22, 2010

Paired with pistachio-stuffed Springbok wrapped in Prosciutto: "The sumptuous Meerlust 2006 Rubicon Bordeaux blend, with its cedar smoke, graphite and black fruit flavors, is a delicious accompaniment to the gamy, spicy and bitter chocolate notes in this dish."

Rubicon 2005 Archived REVIEWS

Wine Spectator Online - James Molesworth - March 18, 2007

"I particularly liked the '05 Rubicon, which we tasted from barrel. Rubicon is the estate’s flagship wine made from a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. It was dark, loamy and powerful, with lots of tarry grip, but still had a vibrant, minerally spine. Kudos to this estate for updating its wines without losing its sense of place and history."

Rubicon 2004 Archived REVIEWS

Wine Enthusiast - Susan Kostrzewa - March 2009

90 points "Intense, lingering aromas and flavors give this wine...a memorable edge. On the nose, a combination of savory spice and dark plum and chocolate lead, while the palate is rife with earthy spice, mint, cocoa and smoke. Complex but balanced and traditional, the wine will age well and pair well with complex, robust dishes."

San Francisco Chronicle - Lynne Char Bennett - February 22, 2009

"This is an elegant, Old World-style wine, with concentrated dark fruit, creme brulee, cigar box and spice hints integrated with savory loam. Lovely balance, lengthy finish."

Wine Spectator - James Molesworth - September 30, 2008

90 points "Concentrated and grippy, with dark, roasted plum, black licorice, charcoal, mesquite and bittersweet cocoa notes. Traditional in vein, with an iron- and earth-filled finish that should soften nicely with cellaring. ...Drink now through 2013."

Rubicon 2001 Archived REVIEWS

International Wine Cellar - Stephen Tanzer - March 2007

88(+?) "Bright, deep ruby-red. Medicinal dark berries, black cherry, cedar, licorice and tobacco on the old-fashioned nose. Juicy, tight and a bit ungiving, with still-youthful plum, bitter cherry and cedar flavors. Finishes with slightly tough, building tannins. This should evolve in a Bordeaux direction, showing earth, truffle, tobacco and underbrush as it unwinds in bottle. The Rubicon is one of South Africas most famous wines, and insiders report that subsequent vintages have moved toward a more pliant style."

Wine Enthusiast Magazine - November 2006

94 points, #27 of "B “Over a quarter of a century ago, this was one of the first South African Bordeaux blends. It is still one of the best, a ripely tannic, firm wine that owes a lot to the structure given by the ripe grape from mature vines. Great acidity, great black currant fruits, and great style."--RV

Decanter - March 2006

4 Stars - Highly Rec "Delicate, sweet black fruit, with soft, unaggressive tannins."

Patterson's Beverage Journal - Anthony Dias Blue - March 2006

90 Points "South Africa's lovely Bordeaux style blend; smooth and bright with fleshy plum and berry fruit."

Wine Spectator - J.M. - December 15, 2004

89 Points "Lots of cocoa and toast in this sleek yet concentrated version, with ripe black currant, blackberry and plum fruit as well. Long, smoky finish with the cocoa note dominating... Drink now through 2006."