July 31, 2023 91 Points The Wine Advocate

“Sadly, there is no Rubicon in 2019, as all the parts were declassified. Thankfully, the 2019 Meerlust Red was blended from 43% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot. The nose is juicy and ripe with fresh red fruit tones, turned earth and soft brown baking spices before showing delightfully dusty flowers that lift the bouquet. Medium to full-bodied, this is rich, precise and focused, offering a balanced structure with a firm tannic edge, while flavors of red cherry skin and spiced plums sway over the long, lingering and spicy finish. The wine aged in 46% new French oak for 17 months. 180,000 bottles were produced. This may be the best bottling of Meerlust Red yet!”

July 31, 2023 92 Points The Wine Advocate

“Composed of mostly Cabernet Sauvignon with 19% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot, the 2018 Rubicon offers a broad-shouldered expression with an Old World essence. The nose explodes with a wide variety of aromas, expressing a subtle Old World funk with an equally pleasing amount of New World vibrancy and freshness. Medium to full-bodied, the palate offers dark fruit flavors with a fine beam of acidity while expressing a firm tannic edge that will loosen in time. The wine glides to a refined and complex finish that will continue to evolve gracefully for a decade. Unfortunately, there will not be a 2019 Rubicon.”

July 17, 2023 93 Points Owen Bargreen

“The 2018 Meerlust ‘Rubicon’ combines mostly Cabernet Sauvignon (67%) with smaller portions Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. It is an awesome effort by former winemaker Chris Williams. Rich and decadent, this shows great flavor range from fresh sage and anise to flavors of dark currants, tobacco leaf and coffee grounds. Complex and delicious, enjoy now and over the next ten plus years. Drink 2023-2033.”

December 2022 95 Points Tim Atkin

“Back where it belongs among the elite wine brands of South Africa, the 2018 Rubicon is a worthy successor to the stellar 2017 release. Featuring Cabernet Sauvignon with 33% Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, this is an elegant, polished, refined wine from a hot, dry vintage that illustrates the benefit of a cooler site. Floral, balanced and poised. ”

October 16, 2022 95 Points Greg Sherwood

“Wonderfully deep in colour, the nose is splendidly expressive showing quintessential Cabernet Sauvignon notes of pressed violets, black plum, sun raisin black currants, black salty liquorice, black chai tea, sweet cedar spice and layers of graphite and spearmint. While the aromatics are dominated by rich, dark berry fruits, the palate is classically proportioned with plenty of overt elegance and textural finesse–a great feat considering the heat and drought of the 2018 vintage. The extra bottle age before release has undoubtedly been a positive for this powerful, structured blend, helping to further round out the suave creamy tannins and harmonise the earthy black berry fruit layers, making the acids polished, glassy and fresh rather than taut and crunchy like many other 2018 reds. Unexpectedly approachable in its youth, I would have no hesitancy to cellar this super smart blend for another 10 to 15+ years.”

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