2013 Rustenberg "John X Merriman" Bordeaux Blend Stellenbosch

SKU #1318423 93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2011 John X Merriman was blended from 17 lots that were vinified separately and sees 20 months in new French oak. It is much more closed than the 2010 despite rigorous coaxing. The palate is well-balanced with fine tannin and a little more tension than the previous vintage, gradually building in the mouth toward an intense, white pepper, savory finish. I would give this five or six years in bottle because it may ultimately out-perform the 2010. Drink 2016-2024. (NM)  (10/2013)

91 points Vinous

 Bright, saturated ruby-red. Aromas of plum, mocha, cigar box, tobacco and wild herbs, along with strong exotic oak tones. A much mellower, smoother wine than the entry-level 2014 Cabernet, offering a sexy penetrating sweetness and very good energy to the flavors of dark berries, tobacco leaf, licorice and minerals. Spreads out nicely to saturate the palate and builds on the back end. Tannins are substantial but pliant and integrated. Much creamier and sweeter than the basic 2014 Cabernet but has the balance and structure for aging. (ST)  (5/2017)

90 points Wine Spectator

 A firm, smoky style, with a tobacco leaf and charcoal frame around mature mulled currant and blackberry fruit flavors. Mint and bay shadings on the finish complete the old-school feel. Approachable now, but has enough rustic guts to cellar further. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2023. (JM)  (12/2016)

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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.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.6