The Meerlust Cabernet Sauvingon 2004 vintage was the first single-variety bottling from this Stellenbosch property since 1993 and when it was released in what I think must have been 2007, I remember being struck by how extraordinarily tannic it was. Of course, the firm, hard keeping qualities of Cabernet Sauvignon is a defining feature of the variety and it spent 20 months in tight grained French oak barrels, 60% new which suggests that winemaker Chris Williams wished a long life for it, but back then I was left wondering if it might ever come around.
Drinking the wine now, it still appears remarkably tight and youthful : cassis and graphite on the nose, while the palate shows good fruit purity and bright acidity before a remarkably dry, savoury finish. Hardly medium bodied but neither rich nor full; rather possessing a sort of weightless intensity. Very good but I finished it with a sort of grudging respect rather than with a song in my heart. A wine for purists rather than hedonists.