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Meerlust ‘Rubicon’ 2012

Producer Information

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 ripen slowly.

Vineyards

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, well drained soils to ensure moisture retention throughout the year. 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.

Winemaking

The Cabernets were given quite lengthy macerations to ensure complete extraction of the perfectly ripe fruit, but the Merlot was given even longer post fermentation maceration to encourage complete polymerization of complex tannins and add a broad, juicy and silky texture to the blend as a whole. Malolactic fermentation was completed in barrel for 7 months before assessment and assemblage.

The 2012 Rubicon is 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot, this variety now really starting to assert itself as an important component of Rubicon The wine spent a total of 20 months in 65% new French Nevers oak with 35% 2nd fill Nevers and Alliers barrels.

Vintage Information

All the vineyards were green harvested during veraison to reduce yield, increase concentration and fruit definition. The 2012 vintage was another perfect vintage very similar to 2009 with very even canopy development and a long, mild summer. Good winter rains ensured sufficient soil moisture in our clay-rich soils, particularly important for Merlot. A good even start to spring to a warm, dry summer yielded perfectly ripe fruit. The crop was healthy due to the ever- present prevailing South Easterly sea breezes. The fruit from each vineyard was harvested in small lots and fermented separately to monitor vineyard expression.

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.

Food Pairing

Venison, game, pot roast and noble cheese.

Serving Suggestion

Ideally served at 18°C - 20°C

Press

Neil Martin for The Wine Advocate: 92 Points

Stellenbosch, South Africa
63% Cabernet Sauvignon
18% Merlot
14% Cabernet Franc
5% Petit Verdot

Natural Cork
14.4%
1.9 g/l
5.8 g/l

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