4 ½ Stars 2023 Platter’s South African Wine Guide
Soundly constructed 19 (93 pts). Much yet to unfold in the compact ripe dark-fruit features, savoury length. Enlivening acidity & dense, firmly dry tannins confidently suggest future satisfying maturity. Oak, 73% new, important polishing role.
93 pts Tim Atkin MW 2023
Meerlust didn’t make a Rubicon in 2019, so some of the grapes went into this impressive Cabernet Sauvignon instead. Sourced from vineyards on shale, it has deftly integrated 70% new oak, violet and cigar box aromas, structured tannins and layers of cassis, bramble and red cherry fruit. A triumph in a tricky vintage. 2025-32
Very deep, youthful colour with an intense garnet hue. The nose shows dark and red fruit mixed with a slight mint note. Still young and intense, the palate is structured and packed with ripe blue berries and wonderfully elegant tannins. Dark chocolate and salted liquorice on the finish. This is a powerful vintage despite the challenging season and will provide great complexity with further maturation.
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.
Blocks were hand-picked and vinified separately and racked straight to barrel for 6 months where the components underwent malolactic fermentation. After this initial time in barrel, the final selection for the wine was made, the components racked and blended together, and the final wine was moved back to barrel and Foudré for a further 12 months of maturation. 70 % new French oak was used in the maturation. Due to the fact that no Rubicon was released in 2019, the best Cabernet Sauvignon components were selected for this blend.
This Cabernet Sauvignon is a true expression of the variety as grown on the Meerlust estate and draws fruit from one of our four distinct terroirs namely – The 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.