2010 Rustenberg "John X Merriman" Bordeaux Blend Stellenbosch

SKU #1129293 92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2010 John X Merriman is a blend of 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec and 1% Cabernet Franc that is raised in 46% new barrels. It has quite an elegant bouquet with lifted raspberry, wild strawberry and dark chocolate scents. The palate is medium-bodied with a smooth, fleshy opening. There are layers of mocha-tinged red berry fruit and a harmonious, toasty finish that retains respectable freshness. This is a well-crafted Bordeaux blend equidistant between classic and modern. Drink now-2022. (NM)  (10/ 2013)

91 points Wine Enthusiast

 Rustenberg’s Bordeaux-style blend, made with 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec and 1% Cabernet Franc, is a complex and layered wine, with waves of black fruit and earthy spice that dance endlessly on the nose and mouth. Heady notes of blackberry, boysenberry, cassis and fig are spiced by accents of cocoa, tobacco and sweet, charred wood. It’s balanced and well structured with a velvety texture and a peppery finish. Drink now–2020.  (3/ 2014)

90 points Wine Spectator

 A dark, juicy and muscular Cabernet, with a charcoal frame to the black currant, steeped fig and blackberry notes. A lining of tobacco and savory smolders on the finish. Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc. Drink now through 2018.  (6/ 2013)

K&L Notes

The 2010 "John X Merriman" blend contains 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 3% Malbec. Randolph Christians is the fifth winemaker to helm this historic cellar, having taken over from Adi Badenhorst for the 2008 vintage. Writing in Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, reviewer Neal Martin recently noted: "Rustenberg are one of Stellenbosch's grandees. What was pleasing to find was winemaker Randolph Christians not resting on his laurels, but really creating some very well-crafted South African wines that deliver quality and superb prices. As an introduction to the region – you cannot go much wrong with these." (12/2012)

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Price: $29.99

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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.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.6