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Meerlust Estate

The pride of the Myburgh family since 1756

Long recognised for producing premium wines, Meerlust Estate has been the pride of the Myburgh family since 1756. Today, the dedication to the art of winemaking continues under the guidance of Hannes Myburgh, 8th generation custodian of this 17th Century national monument.

The first owner of the property, a German immigrant named Henning Huising, recognised the beauty and potential of the farm and settled there in 1693. He named his new-found home Meerlust, meaning ‘pleasure of the sea’, as the manor house sits on a granite outcrop only 5km from False Bay (15km south of Stellenbosch), and in the warm summer months the vineyards are refreshed by ocean breezes and evening mists which roll in from the coast. The grapes ripen slowly, thereby achieving full, concentrated varietal flavours.

Meerlust were the pioneers of Bordeaux varietals in the Cape, and were the first to produce their iconic, award-winning wine, ‘Rubicon’ in 1980. When visiting Bordeaux, Nico Myburgh, Hannes’ father discovered that the climate and soil was similar to that of the Eerste River Valley – a watershed moment. At the time, the red wines produced by the two regions, however, were very different. Unlike the Western Cape’s specified cultivars, Bordeaux thrived on producing blends.

Nico returned to Meerlust, filled with inspiration and the desire to create a blend of his own that would match those produced in France. In 1980, after several years of experimentation together with winemaker Giorgio Dalla Cia, he announced the birth of the new blend. With proportions of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, a new style of wine had been created in South Africa. The pair had crossed a new frontier, making an innovative step towards shaping the South African production of today.

The name Rubicon comes from the Rubicon River, the border of the ancient capital. It is said that Julius Caesar led his troops to Rome and making the crucial decision to cross the Rubicon, marked an irrevocable point in history. This move shifted the course of Roman politics – there could be no turning back.

Cellar master, Chris Williams has been in charge of winemaking since 2004 having previously worked as Assistant Winemaker on the estate from 1995. He studied Oenology at Elsenburg and gained international experience in France while working for Michel Rolland. His interest was aroused in the classical French wines from Bordeaux, Burgundy and the Rhone Valley.

The Myburgh family has a commitment to social responsibility and has a long history of investing in their workforce through the Meerlust Foundation, which aims to provide a safe and stimulating environment for the children of the farm workers. To further this, the Myburgh Family Trust was established, to initiate projects that would benefit their farm workers in a meaningful and economically viable way.

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Chardonnay 2016 — Meerlust Estate

Chardonnay 2016

Stellenbosch, South Africa

100% Chardonnay

Tasting note

Attractively platinum in colour with bright green inflections. Complex and pretty on the nose with notes of quince, citrus and vibrant florals, which develop into lemon curd, oatmeal and marzipan richness. Full bodied and generous on the palate with a crisp acidity and a long, mineral finish.

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'Red' 2013  — Meerlust Estate

'Red' 2013

Stellenbosch, South Africa

31% Merlot
37% Cabernet Sauvignon
23% Cabernet Franc
9% Petit Verdot

Tasting note

Intense dark purple in colour with a vibrant violet rim. Expressive on the nose with aromas of ripe blackcurrant, plum, spice and lifted floral notes. The tannins are soft and silky, the acidity fresh and the flavour profile focused and linear.

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Merlot 2014 — Meerlust Estate

Merlot 2014

Stellenbosch, South Africa

93% Merlot
7% Cabernet Franc

Tasting note

Deep, youthful purple colour with a ruby rim. Intense dark brambly fruit on the nose, mulberry, liquorice and damson plum with hints of dark chocolate and spice, tempered by a stony minerality. The full bodied palate offers generous, ripe, pure Merlot fruit with refreshing acidity, structured yet silky tannins and pronounced length and minerality. There is a core of juiciness, opulence and richness typical of the variety, while the Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot lend greater complexity to the wine.

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Merlot 2013 — Meerlust Estate

Merlot 2013

Stellenbosch, South Africa

93% Merlot
7% Cabernet Franc

Tasting note

Deep, youthful purple colour with a ruby rim. Intense dark brambly fruit on the nose, mulberry, liquorice and damson plum with hints of dark chocolate and spice, tempered by a stony minerality. The full bodied palate offers generous, ripe, pure Merlot fruit with refreshing acidity, structured yet silky tannins and pronounced length and minerality. There is a core of juiciness, opulence and richness typical of the variety, while the Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot lend greater complexity to the wine.

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Pinot Noir 2016 — Meerlust Estate

Pinot Noir 2016

Stellenbosch, South Africa

100% Pinot Noir

Tasting note

Youthful ruby red in colour with very pure Pinot fruit and flavours of juicy red cherry. Layered complexity with great elegance and finesse. Very fine lacy, almost powdery tannin on the finish.

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Pinot Noir 2013 — Meerlust Estate

Pinot Noir 2013

Stellenbosch, South Africa

100% Pinot Noir

Tasting note

Youthful ruby in colour. Very pure Pinot fruit with red cherry and musk flavours coupled with fresh acidity. Layered complexity with great elegance and finesse. Very fine lacy, almost powdery tannin on the finish.

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Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 — Meerlust Estate

Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Stellenbosch, South Africa

100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Tasting note

Intense, vivid purple in colour with slight gradation at the rim. On the nose the wine shows intense cassis, plum and classic cedar cigar box notes with lifted dark fruit aromas. On the palate the wine is full bodied and impressively structured. Intense blackcurrant and plum fruit bolstered by refined tannins and fresh natural acidity. The palate is rich and dense with a wonderful lacy tannic structure.

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Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 — Meerlust Estate

Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

Stellenbosch, South Africa

100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Tasting note

The Meerlust Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 has an intense, vivid purple colour with slight gradation at the rim. On the nose the wine shows intense cassis, plum and classic cedar wood-cigar box notes with lifted dark fruit aromas. On the palate the wine is full bodied and impressively structured. Intense blackcurrant and plum fruit bolstered by refined tannins and fresh natural acidity. The palate is rich and dense with a wonderful lacy tannic structure.

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'Rubicon' 2013 — Meerlust Estate

'Rubicon' 2013

Stellenbosch, South Africa

67% Cabernet Sauvignon
14% Merlot
12% Cabernet Franc
7% Petit Verdot

Tasting note

The 2013 Rubicon classic expression of this iconic Cape wine. Very deep, youthful colour, and intense almost purple hue.

Very classic Rubicon nose with violets, ripe plum, cedar wood and intense spiciness. A typical liquorice note and stony minerality also evident on the nose. Still youthful and intense, promising further maturation potential. The palate is full bodied, structured by beautifully sleek, ripe tannins which restrain the vibrant dark fruit typical of this vintage, giving the wine an opulent texture which is kept focused by the linear acidity. The wine lingers on the palate with creamy fruit mouthfiilling tannins.

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'Rubicon' 2012 — Meerlust Estate

'Rubicon' 2012

Stellenbosch, South Africa

63% Cabernet Sauvignon
18% Merlot
14% Cabernet Franc
5% Petit Verdot

Tasting note

The 2012 Rubicon is another superb expression of this iconic Cape wine. Very deep and youthful in colour, with an intense almost purple hue. Classic Rubicon on the nose with violets, ripe plum, cedar wood and intense spice notes. A hint of liquorice and stony minerality is also evident on the nose.

The wine is still youthful and intense, promising further maturation potential. The palate is full bodied and structured by beautifully sleek, ripe tannins which restrain the vibrant dark fruit typical of this vintage.

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Maisons Marques et Domaines marks its 30th Anniversary with landmark tasting

Maisons Marques et Domaines marks its 30th Anniversary with landmark tasting

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Imbibe’s cream of the MMD crop

Imbibe’s cream of the MMD crop

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MMD Annual Portfolio Tasting 2015

MMD Annual Portfolio Tasting 2015

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Decanter ‘Wine Legends’ features Rubicon

Decanter ‘Wine Legends’ features Rubicon

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Meerlust: Jefford on Monday ‘Chardonnay Songs’

Meerlust: Jefford on Monday ‘Chardonnay Songs’

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Tim Atkin’s South Africa Report 2014

Tim Atkin’s South Africa Report 2014

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