Rustenberg John X Merriman 2021

Tasting Notes

Cassis, black currant and dark fruits complemented with cigar tobacco and sour cherry notes.

Ageing Potential 10 to 15 years from vintage under ideal cellaring conditions

Cabernet Sauvignon 63%, Merlot 20%, Malbec 11%, Petit Verdot 6%

Alc v/v: 14% TA 5.5g/L ph 3.65 RS 2.4g/L

Winery: Rustenberg
Varietal: Red Blend
SKU: RUSJOH2021 Categories: ,
Bottle Size: 750 ml


Out of stock


5 Stars 2024 Platter’s South African Wine Guide
Sophisticated, sumptuous & beautifully balanced, this Cape Bordeaux, renowned for consistent style & quality, hows true distinction in 21 ***** (96 pts). Mostly cab, with merlot, malbec & petit Verdot (20/11/6). Concentrated dark fruit, sleek but firm tannins & an oak polishing (20 months, 35% new) already tempt broaching but a decade in the cellar will be handsomely rewarded, as for 20 (93 pts). WO Simonsberg-Stellenbosch

92 pts Tim Atkin MW 2023
Featuring a higher than normal proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2021 John X was completed by 20% Merlot, 11% Malbec and 6% Petit Verdot. Matured in 30% new oak, it’s a wine that reflects the cooler growing season, with blackcurrant leaf, bramble and blueberry fruit, textured tannins and chocolate and mocha oak. 2024-29

91+ pts Wine Advocate May 2024
This 2021 John X Merriman is a blend of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 11% Malbec and 6% Petit Verdot. On the nose, it offers an open bouquet with prominent aromas of plump dark cherries and a hint of lead pencil. Subtle touches of oak and baking spices add complexity, along with dusty floral undertones. The wine is medium to full-bodied, with a structured, tannic edge that suggests it will age well over time. It’s equally enjoyable now and will pair excellently with food. The wine aged in French oak barrels, one-third new, for 20 months. A total of 162,000 bottles were produced.2024-2034

Winemaker Notes

This wine is named in honour of a former owner of Rustenberg, John Xavier Merriman, who bought the farm in 1892 in sympathy with farmers suffering from the phylloxera crisis. He played a great role in revitalizing Rustenberg and in promoting the tourism and agricultural value of Ida’s Valley, the area close to the town of Stellenbosch in which Rustenberg is situated.

The wine itself is a Bordeaux-style blend, with all of the fruit coming from the Estate, and made predominantly from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, the greater of which depends on which varietal has a better showing over the other in any vintage. The John X Merriman is therefore a wonderful representation of the Estate, as well as the characteristics of a vintage.

The 2021 vintage was produced with the challenges of COVID-19 ever-present. The winter of 2020 started late after a
warm autumn and was cold with plenty of rain. The cool and wet conditions extended well into spring, through
summer and much of the harvest season. The result of these conditions was slow, steady, stress-free vineyard growth
and fruit development. White grape yields were lower than average due to the impact of the weather during critical
stages of fruit development. The white wines from the vintage ripened two weeks later than in 2020 and achieved full
ripeness at lower sugar levels; producing wines with lower alcohols, excellent acidity, and brilliant flavour
development. Yields were higher than average in the reds and the slow ripening season saw excellent flavour and tannin

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