Meerlust Estate Rubicon
Stellenbosch, South Africa
November 1, 2021, Neal Martin
“The 2017 Rubicon, Meerlust's flagship Bordeaux blend (68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot) offers attractive blackberry, raspberry coulis and floral scents on the nose, plus just a touch of glycerol. The palate is harmonious and medium-bodied with supple tannins, fine acidity and an almost understated but long finish.”
October 5, 2021, Jancis Robinson
“Bright, glowing ruby colour and some good development even if it's just slightly austere, but well composed and subtler than most South African bordeaux blends. Not expensive!”
September 2021, Tim Atkin MW
“A classy wine from a really top vintage. What’s not to like, as they say? Marrying Cabernet Sauvignon with 32% Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, this is a subtle, refined, nuanced Rubicon with herbal, earthy, tobacco and graphite perfume, fine 60% new wood, polished tannins and a long, graceful finish. Traditional in style and rightly proud of it. 2023-32 ”
Meerlust Estate has been part of the Myburgh family tradition for eight generations, dating back to 1693. Long recognized for producing world-class wines, the Meerlust Estate is singularly rich in charm and history. Meerlust produces wines that are true to the intrinsic character of their vineyards located in the Stellenbosch region in South Africa. The diverse soils, the unique coastal climate and over 300 years of dedication are all essential components of Meerlust’s complex, rich and truly distinctive wines.
The Cabernet Sauvignon is grown on low yielding, predominantly biotite partially decomposed granite gravel topsoil rich in quartz and feldspar to a depth of approximately 600mm with a loamy clay subsoil. The Merlot vineyards are planted on more clay rich, yet well drained soils to ensure moisture retention and availability to the vines roots right through the summer. There are considerable deposits of iron-rich Laterite in the Merlot vineyards which accentuates the fruit definition and mineral profile of the wine. The Cabernet Franc vineyard is situated on very well drained, stony Vilafontes soil with approximately 20% clay which is ideal for this variety. The Petit Verdot is on Oakleaf 3 soils on a northerly aspect to ensure full phenolic ripeness.
Very similar in key way to the renowned 2015 vintage,our winemaking practices focused on capitalizing on the perfect weather conditions. Coupled with this, most of our vineyards over 2 decades old, ensuring perfect balance between vigor and crop size. Each variety was fermented separately before undergoing malolactic fermentation in 300 L barrels, 60% new French Nevers and 40% second fill casks. After 8 months in barrel, the components were blended and given another 10 months in barrel for harmonization before bottling.
The 2017 Rubicon is a classic vintage of this iconic Cape wine. Very deep, youthful color, and intense almost purple hue. Quintessential Rubicon nose with violets, ripe plum, cedar wood, fennel and intense spiciness. A typical liquorice note also evident on the nose. Still young and intense, promising further maturation potential. The palate is full bodied, structured but packed with fresh dark fruit and rounded, linear tannins promising long beneficial maturation. A stand out vintage of Rubicon displaying all the charm of a perfect vintage from mature vines.
This wine pairs well with venison, game, pot roast and noble cheese. Suggested serving temperature is 64°F - 68°F.
Varietals: 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot
Wine Alcohol: 13.6%
Titratable Acidity: 5.72 g/L
Aging: 16 months in barrel
Aging Potential: 15-20 years