A meeting with 8th generation owner of Meerlust Wine Estate, Hannes Myburgh, is very rare considering the success of the property. His father Nico created the iconic Rubicon and Hannes,…

A meeting with 8th generation owner of Meerlust Wine Estate, Hannes Myburgh, is very rare considering the success of the property. His father Nico created the iconic Rubicon and Hannes, along with Giorgio Dalla Cia and later Chris Williams, have kept it at the top of the industry for four decades. Rubicon is produced in meaningful volumes at the premium level and offers incredible consistency in its elegant, age-worthy style. In fact, Meerlust wines tend to blossom in their second decade of their life, especially the top vintages.

There have been sizeable upgrades to the estate over the last year, adding to the splendour of the historical property. Wim Truter’s appointment with Chris Williams stepping out is the big news, however. As chief winemaker at KWV, he brings fine winemaking experience at a large scale. Wim is particularly excited by the portion of vineyards across the Eerste River, planted with Merlot and Pinot Noir. Both varieties blossomed under Williams’s care and show remarkable purity of fruit combined with elegance and savouriness.

Strauss & Co Auction

The upcoming Strauss & Co Fine Wine Auction will take place on 11 April 2021, visit Strauss & Co for more information and view the e-online catalogue here. The producer themed virtual live auction will include wine lots from Meerlust, de Toren Private Cellar and Mullineux Family Wines forming a trio of legendary South African producers.

The Strauss & Co Fine Wine Auction team tasted through 20 odd vintage wines that will appear on the upcoming auction, see the tasting notes below. The following wines were stored in the Meerlust cellar and will be noted on the catalogue as ‘ex-property’.

Tasting notes:

1978 Cabernet Sauvignon
Light in colour. Sweet cigar, slight dusty note and earth. Iron notes, meaty savouriness with soft mature edge. Quite delicate and perfumed. Soft, elegant and easy to drink, it’s in decline. 3rd vintage Cabernet Sauvignon at Meerlust. 90 points. Drink now.

1980 Cabernet Sauvignon
Classic cabernet, rich and deep, mineral black fruit. Slight reduction, blowing within a few minutes to reveal good cabernet purity. Composed, structured palate with fine and powerful tannins. Great colour, freshness and good length. The surprise of the tasting 94 points, drink to 2035.

1991 Cabernet Sauvignon
Red fruited, vanilla, cola, sweet fruit with a deeply rich and ripe core. Quite primary, with a hint of greenery and cold coffee. The high acidity and fine tannins make it a little hard, but fresh and juicy. 89 points. Drink now to 2030.

2005 Cabernet Sauvignon
Slight greenery, mushroom and earth. Opening up to warm soft fruit and a supple palate. Rich and velvety, with soft succulent and sweet fruit. Nice length with an earthy edge. 91 points, drink now to 2035.

2011 Cabernet Sauvignon
Dark and modern with higher alcohol albeit offering a fresh acidity. Dark chocolate and baked spice. Dense cassis, earthy edge and vanilla notes. No Rubicon this year, so Cabernet had the best fruit on the farm. 91 points, drink now to 2030.

2001 Merlot
Mushroom, tomato leaf and slightly dank nose. More depth and clarity with time in the glass. Remarkably fresh, succulent and gentle palate. Good structure. 92 points. Drink now to 2030.

1999 Rubicon
This is quite earthy and with morish decay on the nose. The palate is fresher with dense, chocolatey fruit. Maybe starting to dry out, with its tannic, chunky finish. Large format should last a decade longer and warrant a higher score. 90 points, drink now.

2001 Rubicon
This vintage was highly regarded and won the Pichon Comtesse de Lalande trophy at the IWSC for the best Bordeaux blend in the world. The nose shows maturity, but there are primary fruit flavours intertwined with a savoury edge. The palate is more poised, lush with rather refined, chalky tannins. Textured and rich with rewarding finish. Excellent. 94 points, drink now to 2030.

2004 Rubicon
Old school with mature, leathery sweet nose. The palate is quite lush and delicious with its savoury, sweetly-fruited complexity. Long and fine. 91 points, drink now.  

2005 Rubicon
Mature, ripe, heady nose show some reduction. The palate is meaty with dried herbs and dark plums. Spicy with slight vanilla note, good poise and depth. 92 points Drink now to 2030.

2006 Rubicon
There is more earthy savouriness here with a leaner guise. Quite tannic and backward showing some greenness and ripe sweetness. Tough vintage which is incline. 90 points, drink now.

2007 Rubicon
Two bottles tasted and overtly oxidised. Withdrawn.

2008 Rubicon
Very attractive nose with sweet fruit and aromatics. Deep, spicy and rich with milk chocolate and berry compost. Super balance, soft, elegant and delicious! Tough vintage, but great wine, great surprise. 93 points. Drink now to 2035.

2009 Rubicon
As expected, the highlight of the tasting. Pure and beguiling nose, with Bordeaux-like graphite and forest floor notes. Dense, rich, and structured with powerful yet lacy tannins. Fine balance with a serious demeanour. 95 points, drink 2025 to 2040.

2010 Rubicon
Dark ripe, cola and ribena. Quite round, soft, juicy and attractive. Nice balance of savoury and primary fruit. Pretty long and impressive. 92 points, drink now to 2030.

2012 Rubicon
Really elegant with lovely depth and fine aromatics. Some toasty oak evident as well as slight sweet sour, savoury notes. Firm tannin and acidity with long finish. 92 points, drink now to 2030.

2013 Rubicon
Offering some mushroom, earthy and savoury notes combined with sweet fruit and moderately high acidity. Lovely dense and charming palate, with red fruit and oaky notes. Drinking well. 91 points, drink now to 2030.

2014 Rubicon
A very elegant, shy wine that is not showing its full character. Chunkier on the palate with good ripeness and fine tannins. The acidity and oak is not quite integrated. 91 points, Drink 2025 to 2035.

2015 Rubicon
High-toned with very primary red and black fruits. Serious oak support along with some caramel and fruit sweetness. Lush, dense and tannic, it’s difficult to appreciate now, but there is huge potential as all the components integrate. 94+ points, drink 2030-2045. 94+.

2016 Rubicon
Somewhat herbal and minty, there is rich primary sweet fruit in a more modern style. Racy, soft and well balanced. Tough vintage but handled well. 90 points, drink now to 2032.

2017 Rubicon
Closed notes, but leaner and more elegant than 2015. Slight mint edge with raspberry and cassis. Finely textured yet, dark and rich. Bold, structured, and earthy tannins with lots of depth, power and balance. It will be great to compare with the more burly 2015 over time. 94+ points, drink 2032-2048.


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