Owned by the Myburgh family since 1756, Meerlust is an absolute balancing act between old and new. Perched just four miles from the sea, cool sea breezes keep the vineyards fresh while the Stellenbosch soils provide ripe, opulent fruit. Many wineries would relax with such a perfect placement as that – but after the first hundred and seventy years they decided to innovate, making the first Bordeaux style cab blend in South Africa: Rubicon. In recent years, the estate has added to and invested in its “second” wines – Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and the simply named Estate Red.
With the release of the new 2013 vintage we thought it was time we explored their full range again. Tasting through these on a dreary Monday was delightful – and I am sure they will provide you with as much pleasure as they did me.
2015 Estate Chardonnay £112.50/6x75cl
This wine is a precise balancing act between new world and old world – the control and lean strength of the best white Burgundy combined with opulent new world fruit. Clean acidity is balanced by firstly pear, citrus and floral notes, then seamlessly develop into endnotes of lemon cream, oatmeal and marzipan.
Platters Guide to South African Wine, gave this 5* rating last year and this year is possibly even better. Considering Platter gave less than twenty such accolades that year you can understand why this to be boasted about!
2015 Estate Pinot Noir £120.00/6x75cl
With fruit pulled from three vineyards on the estate, the 2015 Estate Pinot is a solidly Burgundian style of Pinot with flashes of new world charisma. Fine, distinct red berry fruit, wild mushrooms and hints of savoury richness and spice lying over a clean vibrant minerality. Very fine lacy, almost powdery tannins on the finish. A perfect Christmas table wine!
Midweight, glorious Pinot which had me believing I was drinking 1er Cru Gevrey-Chambertin.
2013 Estate Red £70.00/6x75cl OR £144.00/6x150cl Magnums
45% Merlot, 35% Cabernet, with the balance 50/50 Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. 16 months barrel aging in 50% new oak has added some weight to the fruit, resulting in a powerful, classic Bordeaux style. Winemaker Chris Williams worked for a decade with Michel Rolland (Ch. Ausone, Ch. Le Bon Pasteur et al) and his old master’s touch is clear. Superb.
2013 Rubicon £140.00/6x75cl
67% Cabernet, 14% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc, 7% Petit Verdot.
This is truly outstanding wine. Much more full-bodied than the 2012 (we tried both back to back for comparison) the 2013 lead with a deeply expressive nose of violets, ripe plum, cedar wood and intense spiciness, backed by liquorice and stony minerality. The palate is full bodied, structured by beautifully sleek, ripe tannins which restrain the vibrant dark fruit typical of this vintage. The wine lingers on the palate with creamy fruit mouth filling tannins. Better value than any Bordeaux we have tried this year up to £40. Drink now or cellar for up to 20 years.
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