The flagship Rubicon owes its name to the crossing of the Rubicon river by Julius Caesar in the year 49 BC. It was laid down in Roman law that a general with a standing army was not allowed to cross the Rubicon. The small river in the Emilia-Romagna region was seen as the agreed border between the two states of Lazio and Rome. Het was het ‘point of no return’. With the creation of the Bordeaux-blend Rubicon in 1980, the Myburgh family wanted to definitively assert itself in the international wine world. It was their point of no return for quality wines in South Africa.
The grapes are vinified separately in stainless steel tanks. Only at the end of the vinification and a first wood ripening, the final blend is determined. This wood ripening lasts nine months and takes place in French oak, about two thirds of which are new. After that, the wine is blended and given another wood ripening for nine months.
Meerlust Rubicon comes from several vineyards in Stellenbosch, South Africa. Cabernet Sauvignon comes from a vineyard with a low yield and a soil of mainly granite and gravel. The soil for the Merlot grapes consists of clay and is well permeable. Some pieces are very iron-rich. Cabernet Franc comes from very well permeable, styly soil with about 20% clay. Petit Verdot grows on so-called Oakleaf soils.
Meerlust, which was bought in 1756, is among the absolute cult names of Stellenbosch. With a rich history and a wide range of international prices, this winery belongs to the top of Stellenbosch and South Africa. Meerlust’s flagship, which freely translates as ‘the pleasure of the sea’, is Rubicon, a Bordeaux blend that can easily develop in the bottle for years and rival the top from Bordeaux.
Anyone who has ever visited Stellenbosch will remember the white Cape Dutch houses, which were built in the 18th century. Meerlust is a wonderful example. It was the German Henning Huizing who bought the manor house in 1693 as a residence and renamed it ‘Meerlust’. The name refers to the location of the house, only 5 km from False Bay. In 1756 the house was bought by the Myburgh family who started making wine there.
The Myburgh family notes that the volcanic ‘primeval granite’ in the area is extremely suitable for viticulture, which is quickly reflected in the distinctive results of the Meerlust wines. The vineyards are planted in a similar way to the Médoc, with the Cabernet varieties on soils with more pebbles and drainage and with the Merlot growing on clay granite compositions. Due to the influences of the black laterite soil, the vineyards are also called the ‘Coffee Cliff’.
The coolest vineyards are on the slopes of the First River. These are used for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot
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