Meerlust Red 2011

Rubicon-lite.

Rubicon-lite.

No Meerlust Rubicon or Meerlust Merlot from the 2011 vintage. “A painful decision enforced on us due to the particular climatic conditions we experienced,” says winemaker Chris Williams. A warm winter in 2010 and three rain “events” in the lead-up to harvest meant uneven ripeness. This, in turn, compelled a lighter hand in the cellar, for which read less extraction, and the overall result was a slight dilution effect.

What will be released is a wine under the moniker “Red”, the only previous occasions this has occurred being 1985, 1990 and 2002. The wine is a blend of 52% Merlot, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot and spent 17 months in French oak, 55% new (compared to Rubicon which gets “nothing less than 70% new”).

I found red and black fruit, a brush of oak, plus a pleasant leaf quality. It’s medium bodied with good fruit purity and fresh acidity. Extremely approachable already and that’s the point – Williams wants Rubicon to have more gravitas. It’s R149 a bottle compared to Rubicon’s normal price of R286 so happy days.

Score: 89/100.

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