Meerlust Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

My annual pilgrimage to Meerlust outside of Stellenbosch, to taste the Estates new releases, was once again a highlight. Cellarmaster and wine maker, Chris Williams, was on hand at the pre lunch tasting of the latest vintages which included the re-introduction of their Cabernet Sauvignon.

The bottling of Meerlust Cabernet Sauvignon as a single variety was discontinued with the last vintage made in 1993 as it was decided that the quality Cabernet grapes should be reserved for their flagship, Meerlust Rubicon. The Rubicon was becoming immensely popular all over the world in the 1990’s so it was decided to reserve all the estate’s quality cabernet, which included new plantings, for the growing of this flagship blend.

Interesting, then that in 2004 and 2005, small amounts of the farm’s Cabernet was given once more for bottling it as a single varietal. It received wonderful accolades from wine fundi’s but sadly the demands from the Rubicon subsequently prohibited further varietal bottling’s.

Relates cellarmaster Chris Williams: ‘But such was the success of our intermittent bottlings, and such was the grumbling of the trade and consumers when we didn’t always have Cabernet, that we decided to re-introduce it on a regular basis. Quality permitting, of course.’

Further plantings of the variety on the Estates soils of decomposed granite mixed with clay underpinned the new commitment to the farm’s noble grape. ‘Meerlust has always produced cabernet that combines structure and dense tannins with generous fruit: nothing rich or overblown, but more of a soft, cassis character. It makes the wine quite open and approachable when young, but at the same time allows for laying it down for many years.’

 The Meerlust Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 vinification is made traditionally with hand-picked fruit, partial un-inoculated fermentation of free-run juice only, regular pump-over’s and 18 months in French oak barrels of which 80 per cent are new. ‘We simply try and reflect Meerlust’s vineyards in the wine.’

In the glass the wine displays a dark velvet colour with aromas of black cherry and prune with a hint of subtle cedar wood. The full-bodied palate offers juicy blackberry and briar flavours with depth and power on the long finish. The wine has the ability to mature for a further 10 years.

We enjoyed the wine after the pre tasting with fillet of beef served with a creamy mustard sauce. Delicious!

Expect to pay R230.00

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