Ahh, South Africa on the mind, so I should write some notes on my favourite South African wine to date. One of my Top 50 Cellar Picks, and amongst my all-time wine favourites for price:quality, the Meerlust Rubicon.
Actually, it was the 2000 vintage of the Meerlust Rubicon that really caught my fancy. A nose of woodsy tannins and black cherries introduces the 2000 Meerlust Rubicon (70% Cab Sauv, 20% Merlot, Cab Franc), but so much complexity here...green pepper, later some butterscotch, cloves and dark flowers, white pepper and cooked meat, flint and leather...a joyous symphony for the nose. Dense tannins envelop dark cherry fruit, resulting in delayed satisfaction - it took some time for this wine to open up and sort itself out. But when it did it opened beautifully...velvety tannins, crisp fruit and a deliciously lengthy finish. This could easily go another decade, I wish I had more.
cork. 13.5% alcohol
Price: C$27 (SAQ)
The younger 2004 Meerlust Rubicon (63% Cab Sauv, 27% Merlot, Cab Franc) still retained the Bordeaux-like aromas that I loved in the 2000 - very green peppery, with gamey meat, damp old oak, leather and liquorice, black smoke and ripe, hot climate, fruit that made me think of the Languedoc. Gorgeous mouthfeel, with luscious fruit and fine-grained woodsy tannins, a balanced but modest finish. Just a shade less impressive than the 2000. No need to cellar this wine, it is ready now after a short decant.
cork. 14% alcohol
Price: C$26.20 (SAQ)