The Bordeaux-style red blend that is Rubicon from Stellenbosch property Meerlust is as close as anything to being iconic and to state the obvious, no wine acquires that status by being erratic and unreliable.
The current-release 2013 (Wine Cellar price: R329 a bottle) is blend of 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and 7% Petit Verdot, it was matured for 19 months in French oak, 65% new.
On the nose, the crushed herbs and leafiness that are so distinctive of young Rubicon plus red and black fruit and attractive oak.
As for the palate, the first impression is one of severity – there is fruit but what is most striking the fine but very firm tannins making for an extraordinarily dry finish.
With time in glass, it becomes clear that this wine is not short of complexity and possesses real refreshment value.
It has a very particular flavour profile that’s true to the property and those that tend it – it will appeal to some and not others but it is now so well established that nobody really wants to be a nay-sayer. In fairness, it’s certainly not meant to be drunk now and you suspect that over time it will become more like itself without being quite so difficult.
Editor’s rating: 90/100.
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