The grapes are vinified separately in stainless steel tanks. Only at the end of vinification and a first wood ripening does the final blend emerge. This wood maturation lasts nine months and takes place in French oak, of which about two thirds is new. The wine is then blended and given another nine months of wood maturation.
Meerlust Rubicon comes from various vineyards in Stellenbosch, South Africa. Cabernet Sauvignon comes from a low-yielding vineyard with predominantly granite and gravel soils. The soil for the Merlot grapes consists of clay and is well-drained. Some areas are very iron-rich. Cabernet Franc comes from very permeable, stony soils with about 20% clay. Petit Verdot grows on so-called Oakleaf soils.
Meerlust, bought in 1756, is one of the absolute cult names of Stellenbosch. With a rich history and a wide range of international awards, this winery belongs to the top of Stellenbosch and South Africa. The flagship of Meerlust, which freely translates as ‘the pleasure of the sea’, is Rubicon, a Bordeaux blend that can easily develop for years in the bottle and can compete with the top Bordeaux wines.
Anyone who has ever visited Stellenbosch will remember the white Cape Dutch houses, which were built in the 18th century. Meerlust is a beautiful example of this. It was the German Henning Huizing who bought the mansion 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 found that the volcanic ‘primordial’ granite in the area was ideally suited to viticulture, which was soon 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 gravel and drainage and the Merlot on clayey granite compositions. Due to the influences of the black laterite subsoil, the vineyards are also known as the ‘coffee cliff’.
The coolest vineyards are on the slopes of the First River. These are used for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
The flagship Rubicon owes its name to the crossing of the Rubicon River by Julius Caesar in 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. It was the point of no return. By creating the Bordeaux blend Rubicon in 1980, the Myburgh family wanted to make their mark on the international wine world. It was their ‘point of no return’ for quality wines in South Africa.
Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot
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