95/100, Greg Sherwood MW, A Fine Wine Safari. "Meerlust Rubicon is undoubtedly one of South Africa’s greatest wine ambassadors. If you have not tasted it yet, you are indeed missing out on one of the great Bordeaux blends produced in the Cape."
Tasting notes: 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, the palate is full bodied, structured but packed with fresh dark fruit and rounded tannins. This is a vintage that is more approachable in youth because of the ripeness and richness levels attained in 2018 but will provide great complexity with further maturation.
Ageing Potential: 10 - 20 years, provided wine is stored in ideal cellar conditions
67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot
About The Harvest: The 2018 harvest season was really challenging, due to a prolonged drought which some believe to be the worst in 100 years showing its impact. The winter months only cooled off later with higher-than-normal temperatures and the farm only receiving 80% of the expected winter rainfall. The dry weather throughout the season did have its advantages as vines were healthy, with little or no pests and diseases being recorded. The limited water availability also resulted in a smaller crop due to lighter bunches and very small berries. This coupled with the night temperatures that were cooler than usual during the ripening period, resulted in excellent colour and flavour development.
In The Cellar: The 2018 Rubicon is a classically proportioned blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, every parcel of each variety was fermented separately before undergoing malolactic fermentation in 300 L barrels and large Foudré. After 8 months in barrel, the components were blended and given another 10 months in barrel for harmonization before bottling
The Rubicon is a true expression of the Meerlust estate and draws fruit from our four distinctive terroirs. Each terroir provides a unique element to the final blend.
“Die Kop” - The soils from this warm north facing slope are predominantly formed from weathered granite. The wines originating from this granitic hilltop are expressive and bold in structure, mainly due to the coarse gravelly texture and sufficient soil depth to promote long and even ripening.
River Terraces - Sandy soils laced with rounded river stones allow for excellent root proliferation. This area of the Estate experiences the greatest shift between day and night temperatures, promoting flavour development of these delicate and fruit forward wines.
Quarry - The extremely rocky terrain consisting of greywacke with interbedded shales provides a unique substrate for vines. Shallow rooted vines on this cool and windswept foot slope leads to wines with characteristic red fruit with exceptional length, detail, and precision.
Lowlands - The remains of an ancient estuary are marked by clay-rich soils from deeply weathered greywacke and shales. The wines from this generally cool south facing, clay-rich terroir is typically smooth and silky in texture with prominent black fruit.