Meerlust Red 2019
By Christian Eedes, 25 February 2021
Meerlust in Stellenbosch will not be releasing the 2019 vintage of its famous Cape Bordeaux Red Blend called Rubicon on account of it not meeting self-imposed quality standards: cooler conditions plus rain during harvest meant grapes did not reach full maturity while the preceding drought years finally took their toll. In its stead, the Red 2019, this downgrade only previously occurring in the case of the the ’85, ‘90, ’02 and the 2011 vintages.
With the decision also taken not to bottle the property’s single-variety Merlot from 2019, the Red from this vintage is a blend of 43% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot, the wine matured for 17 months in French oak, 46% new – this compared to the current release Rubicon 2017 which is more Cab dominated (68%) and saw 60% new oak. The price, in turn, is lower at R230 compared to R440 for Rubicon 2017.
The nose shows red fruit, violets, subtle notes of vanilla and spice plus a hint of reduction. The palate is opulent and open, or at least as much so as any Meerlust wine ever gets. To be hyper-critical, it might be said that it is lacking in mid-palate, but there’s a nice freshness and the tannins are quite soft making it instantly likable. You suspect the property won’t have any cash flow problems in the foreseeable future.
CE’s rating: 90/100.
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