For all lovers of South African wines Meerlust is known far and wide for its flagship Rubicon. In 2019 Meerlust decided that they would not produce any Rubicon. They felt that the quality of the fruit and the ensuing wine would not meet the standards that were necessary to become Rubicon. We applaud Meerlust for this act knowing that the economic repercussions would be measurable for them. We are fairly certain that this move was well thought out and was done to ensure that the reputation of Rubicon would not be sullied with a less than acceptable product after years of hard work in making Rubicon the icon wine that it has become.
There are two sides to the coin, for every negative there is a countering positive, and although there was no 2019 Rubicon produced the juice that was meant to go into Rubicon that year was now funneled into the 2019 Estate Red blend. So the positive is that in reality the Estate Red in 2019 is basically a mini, declassified version of the Rubicon. So what you get is a high quality Bordeaux red blend that is a Rubicon knockoff from a lesser vintage for a fraction of what you would normally pay for the icon bottling. Word out on the street is that the 2019 Estate Red is very good so if you want a good bottle of wine that over delivers on the cheap, it will be pretty hard to go wrong on this one.
92 pts Tim Atkin MW 2021
There was no Rubicon release in 2019, so all of the fruit went into the Meerlust red instead, making a very tasty second wine. Cabernet Sauvignon-led with a supporting cohort of 57% Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, this is a perfumed, detailed, well balanced red with violet and tobacco leaf notes, red berry flavours and good acidity for a 2019. 2022-27
Weather vagaries and Meerlust’s exacting quality requirements determine that not every vintage is worthy of our flagship red blend Rubicon. Thus is born, in rare years, our collector’s Meerlust Red 2019. The Red 2019 is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot aged in French oak for 17 months. Intense fresh red fruit combines with floral, spicy notes in a medium-bodied wine with a soft, silky texture for immediate enjoyment or up to 8 years’ bottle maturation.
The wine has an intense, dark purple colour with a violet rim. Bright and vivacious in the glass, very 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 very soft and silky with fresh acidity and a focused, linear flavour profile. The wine has a persistent and long lasting aftertaste.
The Meerlust Red 2019 is a blend of 43% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot. All the vineyards were green harvested during veraison to reduce yield, increase concentration, tannin ripeness and fruit definition.