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Meerlust Rubicon 2005

Bordeaux Red Blends from South Africa
  • WE91
  • JH90
14% ABV
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14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The wine has an intense, opaque deep ruby color, very slight gradation to the rim. Bright and vivacious in the glass, very youthful. The nose is brooding and restrained at this stage, yet beginning to emerge with deep, dark fruit, cassis, plum and black cherry. There is a pronounced minerality on the nose with graphite, cedar smoke and cigar box bouquet. The palate is beautifully structured, fuller bodied than some earlier vintages of Rubicon due to the intensity of the fruit and intricate tannin structure. The wine exhibits rich juiciness and savour already, but the compactness and sinewy taughtness of this young wine suggest a long maturation potential. The perfectly formed, ripe tannins are densely packed and tightly woven but remain lithe and almost powdery, giving the wine a generous opulence even at this early phase of its development.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WE 91
Wine Enthusiast
A restrained, elegant nose of black fruit, plum, cherry and spice starts this serious blend of Cabernet, Merlot and Cabernet Franc from Chris Williams and Meerlust. Full-bodied, complex flavors of cedar, tobacco, mint and plum are juicy and savory. Tannins are taut but forgiving. The wine still needs to time to evolve, but is a study in brooding character.
JH 90
Australian Wine Companion
Owned by the Myburgh family for eight generations, a famous wine in traditional South African style, tannins rather dry, although there is good cassis-accented fruit to sustain the palate. 90 points; drink to 2020
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Meerlust

Meerlust

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Meerlust, , South Africa
Meerlust
Meerlust is one of South Africa's most famous and historical wine estates. The land where the farm is now situated was originally owned by a powerful and wealthy free burgher named Henning Huising. After his death in 1713 the estate passed through many hands until it was bought in 1756 by Johannes Albertus Myburgh - and has remained in the Myburgh family ever since.

Nicholaas Myburgh (7th generation of the Myburgh family, and father of present owner Hannes Myburgh) took over the farm in 1950, but the condition of the property had declined severely from its 18th century splendor. Nicolaas set about an extensive restoration of both the buildings and the vineyards. One of his first projects was the construction of a damn that allows for irrigation in exceptionally dry years, but is usually used only after the vintage. He also replanted the vineyards with mainly red varietals.

The farm is approximately 15 kilometers outside Stellenbosch, and is the Stellenbosch estate nearest the Indian Ocean (the name Meerlust is of German origin, and translates to "pleasure of the sea"). The cooling breezes off False Bay allow a slower, steadier ripening period for the grapes. This translates to less loss of fruit aromas, and there is also a lesser risk of a crop being ruined in the event of a sudden, dramatic rise in temperature.

The home of Port—perhaps the world’s most popular after-dinner drink, the Douro region of Portugal is one of the world’s oldest delimited wine regions, established in 1756. Less well-known but often of excellent quality are the region’s dry table wines, both red and white. The vineyards of the Douro, set on the slopes surrounding the Douro river (known as the Duero in Spain), are among the steepest in the world, necessitating the use of terraces in much of the region. This often requires grapes to be harvested by hand—a labor-intensive process. The climate here is Mediterranean, with hot, dry summers and cold winters. There are three sub-regions of the Douro—Baixo Corgo, the mildest and wettest, Cima Corgo, where many of the best producers are situated, and Douro Superior, the hottest and driest. The best sites, typically with schist-based soils, are reserved for Port production, while table wines are usually grown on granite.

While more than 100 indigenous varieties are approved for wine production in the Douro, there are five primary grapes that make up most Port and table wines. Touriga Nacional is the finest of these, prized for its deep color, tannic and concentrated structure, and floral aromatics. Along with Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz (Spain's Tempranillo) helps to provide the backbone to these wine and adds bright acidity and red fruit flavors. Touriga Franca and Tinta Barroca help round out the blend with their soft, supple textures. Tinta Cão, a fine but low-yielding variety, is rarely planted but still highly valued for its ability to produce excellent, complex wines. Rosé Port and table wines are produced from the same varieties, while whites are generally crisp, mineral-driven blends of Arinto, Viosinho, Gouveio, Malvasia Fina, and an assortment of others.

WWH117614_2005 Item# 99235

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