Meerlust Red 2011
By Christian Eedes, 13 May 2013
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.