Meerlust Estate Rubicon

Stellenbosch, South Africa

Vintage:2020 (Pending)

2015 (Past) | 2016 (Past) | 2017 (Past) | 2018 (Current) |

Tech Sheet Download Download PDF with Scores Download PDF without Scores

Meerlust Estate Rubicon 2020
  • WA 92
  • JS 91


The Wine Advocate

92 Points

May 9, 2024, Anthony Mueller

The 2020 Rubicon is composed mainly of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, with Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot in lesser proportions. The wine marks a triumphant return, after no Rubicon was released in 2019. The wine is densely fruit-forward, tightly wound and dusty, with clean aromatics that round out its robust character. It features a balanced, elegantly powerful palate with refreshing tannins and consistent acidity that keeps everything in check. The finish is notably food friendly, echoing with nuances of lead pencil. After eight months in the barrel, the components were blended and aged for an additional 10 months in barrels.

91 Points

October 20, 2023, James Suckling

Dark berries, dried herbs, cedar and dried spices on the nose following through to full body with firm tannins. Rich core of dark berries at the center with a grippy texture around the edges and a compact, chewy finish. Try after 2024.


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.

The 2020 Rubicon is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, every parcel of each variety was fermented separately before undergoing malolactic fermentation in 300-liter barrels and large foudre. After 8 months in barrel, the components were blended and given another 10 months in barrel for harmonization before bottling. The 2020 sees the more mature Merlot vineyards coming more to the fore with almost equal part Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in the final blend.

Tasting Notes

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, the palate is full bodied, structured but packed with fresh dark fruit and rounded tannins. This is a vintage that is more approachable in youth because of the ripeness and richness levels attained in 2018 but will provide great complexity with further maturation.

Harvest Notes

Good rainfall during the winter and long uninterrupted cold spells meant reserves where adequately replenished and cold requirement easily met. A very dry and hot spring followed by a moderate growing season resulted in even budding and slower than normal, even ripening – especially beneficial for our late ripening varieties.

Food Pairing

This wine pairs well with venison, game, pot roast and noble cheese. Suggested serving temperature is 64°F - 68°F.

Technical Information

Varietals: 41% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot

Wine Alcohol: 14.50%

Titratable Acidity: 5.91 g/L

pH: 3.50

Aging: 18 months in barrel

Aging Potential: 15-20 years