2004 Meerlust "Rubicon" Red Bordeaux Blend Stellenbosch

SKU #1043418

90 points Wine Spectator: "Concentrated and grippy, with dark, roasted plum, black licorice, charcoal, mesquite and bittersweet cocoa notes. Traditional in vein, with an iron- and earth-filled finish that should soften nicely with cellaring. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Drink now through 2013. 1,645 cases imported." (09/08) 90 points Wine Enthusiast: "Intense, lingering aromas and flavors give this wine - a combination of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc - a memorable edge. On the nose, a combination of savory spice and dark plum and chocolate lead, while the palate is rife with earthy spice, mint, cocoa and smoke. Complex but balanced and traditional, the wine will age well and pair well with complex, robust dishes." (03/09) "Graves in Stellenbosch? The Rubicon is a blend of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc that has always reminded me of the Graves appellation in Bordeaux.. In the nose red and black current are to be found with notes of earth, graphite, tobacco leaf, cedar, smoke, anise and a herbal note. The wine spends 24 months in 80% new Nevers French barrique and then 24 months in bottle before release. On the palate there are fine tannins with good acidity, fine balance and length. While drinkable now, there is the stuffing to reward time in the cellar." (Jim Chanteloup, K&L Wine Buyer)

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Price: $24.99

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Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
Country:

South Africa

- Now that it has adopted a multi-racial attitude, and now that the world has embraced its government and its exports, South Africa has become a major wine producer. Unfortunately, South Africa has had a difficult time joining the ranks of competitive winemaking countries. During the anti-apartheid sanctions in the 1980s, South African wine was dealt the huge blow when it was removed from the international market, and for political reasons it was quite difficult for wine producers to market wine to the black majority. Things are finally looking up for the wine industry here, and quality has never been higher. South Africa produces a grape cloned from Pinot Noir and Cinsault, called Pinotage, which is the country's unique varietal. Chenin Blanc (known as Steen) makes up one-third of its vines. Cabernet, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Shiraz are becoming increasingly popular as are Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. Click for a list of bestselling items from South Africa.