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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'Rubicon' 2017 — Meerlust Estate

'Rubicon' 2017

Stellenbosch, South Africa

68% Cabernet Sauvignon
16% Merlot
12% Cabernet Franc,
4% Petit Verdot

Tasting note

The 2017 Rubicon is a classic vintage of this iconic Cape wine. Very deep, youthful colour, and intense almost purple hue. Quintessential Rubicon nose with violets, ripe plum, cedar wood, fennel and intense spiciness. A typical liquorice note also evident on the nose. Still young and intense, promising further maturation potential. The palate is full bodied, structured but packed with fresh dark fruit and rounded, linear tannins promising long beneficial maturation. A stand out vintage of Rubicon displaying all the charm of a perfect vintage from mature vines.

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Estate Red 2018 — Meerlust Estate

Estate Red 2018

Stellenbosch, South Africa

56% Merlot
44% Cabernet Franc

Tasting note

The high proportion of Cabernet Franc indicates the great quality that this variety showed in 2018, the Merlot adding suppleness and juicy fruit. The wine has an intense, dark purple colour with a violet rim; bright and vivacious in the glass, youthful. The nose is expressive with powerful cassis, plum, exotic spice and hints of floral aromas. On the palate the wine is medium-bodied with intense flavours of crushed black fruit, cassis, vanilla and dark chocolate. The tannins are soft and silky, the acidity fresh, the flavour profile focused and linear. The wine has a persistent and long-lasting aftertaste.

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Chardonnay 2020 — Meerlust Estate

Chardonnay 2020

Stellenbosch, South Africa

100% Chardonnay

Tasting note

Very bright, polished platinum with green, vivacious hue. Complex, appealing nose with pear, citrus and floral notes developing into lemon cream, oatmeal, and marzipan richness. On the palate the wine is medium bodied and linear but retains generous focused citrus fruit flavours with sleek, balanced, and crisp acidity. The wine remains vivacious and fresh on the finish with clean citrus fruit and stony minerality. The wine has a long, very pleasant lingering finish. Decanting and exposure to air opens the aroma and palate of the wine.

 

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Pinot Noir 2018 — Meerlust Estate

Pinot Noir 2018

Stellenbosch, South Africa

100% Pinot Noir

Tasting note

Intense, vivid translucent youthful purple-ruby appearance. The wine shows pronounced lifted perfume on the nose with red berry fruit, musk, wild mushrooms and hints of savoury richness and spice and a clean vibrant minerality. . On the palate there are very pure Pinot fruit flavours on entry with red cherry and musk flavours coupled with fresh acidity. The wine has layered complexity with great elegance and finesse. Very fine lacy, almost powdery tannin on the finish.

 

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Merlot 2016 — Meerlust Estate

Merlot 2016

Stellenbosch, South Africa

Tasting note

Tasted late in 2018, the 2016 Meerlust Merlot was already showing great approachability and charm. The dark fruit and opulence of the wine is immediately apparent. We have been refining the viticulture to produce more balanced, flavourful fruit. 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 medium-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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Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 — Meerlust Estate

Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Stellenbosch, South Africa

100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Tasting note

The Meerlust Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 has an intense, vivid purple colour with slight gradation at the rim. On the nose the wine shows pronounced plum and classic cedar wood-cigar box notes with lifted dark fruit aromas. There is the characteristic hallmark aromas of fennel and liquorice associated with Meerlust Cabernet. On the palate the wine is full bodied but with richness of fruit and supple tannic structure typical of 2016

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Meerlust wines receive great scores from Greg Sherwood MW!

Meerlust wines receive great scores from Greg Sherwood MW!

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Maisons Marques et Domaines holds its Annual Portfolio Tasting

Maisons Marques et Domaines holds its Annual Portfolio Tasting

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2016 Rubicon’s unique blend has arrived!

2016 Rubicon’s unique blend has arrived!

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Maisons Marques et Domaines holds its Annual Portfolio Tasting

Maisons Marques et Domaines holds its Annual Portfolio Tasting

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Rubicon 2015 has arrived!

Rubicon 2015 has arrived!

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MMD Holds its Annual Portfolio Tasting

MMD Holds its Annual Portfolio Tasting

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