It’s a heretical position to take but I’m not sold on the 2010 vintage of Rubicon from iconic Stellenbosch property Meerlust. A blend of 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, it was matured for 21 months in French oak, 60% new.
Winemaker Chris Williams has done his best to come up with sufficiently luxurious to justify the R333 a bottle price tag and the wines does have plenty of red and black fruit plus some attractive oak-derived notes of cigar-box and chocolate. There is, however, no getting around a definite pyrazine quality on nose and palate which evidently many love but I don’t – it’s just plain green rather than “leafy” or “herbal” for me. #WinemagRating: 89/100.
Williams showed the wine as part of a tasting to commemorate 40 years of Meerlust – a 1975 Cabernet was the first wine to bear the property’s name – and also showed the 1995 vintage of Rubicon which was splendid.
Extraordinarily fragrant on the nose with notes of violets and fynbos before red and black fruit as well as more tertiary qualities like mushroom and earth. Some heft on the palate – sweet fruited on entry but the finish suitably savoury. #WinemagRating: 94/100.
The two wines made a fascinating juxtaposition. Why is pyrazine character sometimes a good thing and other times a bad thing? Is that green-ness part of Meerlust terroir? Will the 2010 become like the 1995 with time in bottle? It’s the kind of stuff to keep wine geeks chatting for hours.