Neal Martin - 30/11/2015
Platter Wine Guide, wineonaplatter.com, Oct 2015
About this WINE
Meerlust Estate, Stellenbosch
Making fine wines on the Meerlust Estate has been part of the Myburgh family tradition for eight generations, dating back to 1756. Today, the family tradition of dedication to the art of winemaking continues under the guidance of owner Hannes Myburgh, who studied winemaking at Geisenheim, Germany and Château Lafite and Chris Williams, who took over from Giorgio dalla Cia, and has brought a new energy and style to the wines.
Chris Williams was appointed cellar master in 2004 and brought a new energy and style to the wines, also enhancing the quality of the flagship wine, Rubicon – one of the first Bordeaux-style blends to be developed by a South African producer.
The estate is situated 15 kilometres south of Stellenbosch, with the blue crescent of False Bay just five kilometres away. Two hundred hectares are planted, mainly with red varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Pinot Noir.
Meerlust is uniquely situated for the production of wines with exceptional complexity and character. In the summertime, ocean breezes and evening mists roll in from the coast to cool the vineyards. The grapes ripen slowly, thus achieving full, concentrated varietal aromas and flavours. The soil here is very much like that in Bordeaux, consisting of decomposed granite mixed with clay, and is ideal for growing grapes for fine wine.
Stellenbosch is South Africa’s best-known wine region, producing a wide variety of wines from leading estates, even though it accounts for less than 20 per cent of the country’s total production. Designated wards within the wine region are Jonkershoek Valley, Simonsberg-Stellenbosch, Bottelary, Devon Valley and Papegaaiberg.
At 17,500 hectares, Stellenbosch remains the Cape's most famous and important fine wine district, thanks to its proximity to Cape Town, to the cooling influences of False Bay, its mountainous (ie Helderberg, Simonsberg), granitic topography and its centres of learning such as Elsenburg Agricultural College.
There are over 200 different grape varieties used in modern wine making (from a total of over 1000). Most lesser known blends and varieties are traditional to specific parts of the world.