Meerlust ‘Rubicon’ 2017
|Wine Type||Red Wine|
|Body / Style||Big & Bold, Rich & Savoury|
|Grape Blend||49% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28 % Merlot, 20 % Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot|
|Bottle Size (ml)||750|
|Extra Info||Iconic Claret-style|
|Food Pairing Guide||Venison, game, pot roast and noble cheese.|
Meerlust Rubicon is the flagship wine of the iconic Meerlust Estate, and is one of our all-time favourites. Rubicon is Stellenbosch's answer to top Claret, made from a similar blend, and aiming for that same finesse and complexity. Ripe and plummy, with power as well as freshness. Flavours of plum and cassis are layered with vanilla and woody notes from 16 months barrel ageing prior to bottling. The Cabernet Sauvignon gives depth, structure and intensity, with soft fruitiness from the Merlot and Cabernet Franc. An iconic wine which has long been a favourite of ours, and we are very proud to be stocking.
A note from the winemaker: “The 2016 Rubicon shows great charm and drinkability even at this early stage, no doubt a result of the high Merlot and Cabernet Franc composition. We were very cautious with regards to tannic structure as some of the later Cabs exhibited astringency which we wanted to minimise in the final blend. Wonderful exotic aromas of plum, sandalwood and perfume, still with a touch of creamy vanilla. The palate is medium bodied with a forward dark fruit flavour of cassis and mulberry followed by a lithe tannic structure fleshed out with juicy fruit. The impression is one of litheness and grace rather than over-arching power.”, Chris Williams, Winemaker
The 2016 vintage at Meerlust was somewhat unusual in that it was generally cooler but accompanied by a severe drought starting in 2015. This led to challenging conditions, particularly with regard to flavour and tannin development in the later Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards, and eveness of ripening across all the varieties. Fortunately, Meerlust does have a large storage dam and the irrigation system required mainly for the establishment of young vines, its not common to use irrigation on the more established vineyards due to their having extensive and deep root systems which penetrate into the subsoil clay to access moisture for the ripening process. This moisture zone had mostly dried out by late summer in 2016, inducing water stress in many of our vineyards. We strategically used irrigation to ensure slower, even ripening to ensure flavour and tannin development.
Meerlust Estate has been the pride of the Myburgh family since 1756. Today, the dedication to quality winemaking continues under the guidance of 8th generation, Hannes Myburgh. Cellar Master, Chris Williams has worked on the estate since 1995 and has been in charge of winemaking since 2004. The name Meerlust means “pleasure of the sea”, as the property is situated 5km from False Bay (and 15km south of Stellenbosch), where the cooling influence of the coast allows the grapes to ripen slowly.