South African wine icons: Meerlust Rubicon

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Meerlust Rubicon
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Meerlust Rubicon

Been a while, but the ZA wine icon journey continues as I mentioned before when I sampled the Rustenberg Peter Barlow. I’ve acquired most of the red wines that the experts consider to have achieved icon status in the local market and I intend on drinking them all … of course.

An unexpected challenge in having wines on hand fit for the very best of occasions turns out to be how often such occasions tend to present themselves, or perhaps the winemakers just set the bar so high that I feel obliged to overdo it, who knows.

So our next candidate was sampled on a particularly good weekend: 1st wedding anniversary and wife’s birthday still a recent and excellent memory, 35th birthday on the day and indeed history was even made in the same week when our UK brethren voted to leave the EU! An astounding combination of events that demanded only the very best to toast it all with: enter the Meerlust Rubicon.

Sampled (well emptied frankly) not far from Wolseley on the banks of the Breede River with a cracking fire stemming the winter cold, the setup was perfect and unlike the previous icon I tasted I have at least sampled the Meerlust Rubicon before at their tasting room and expectations were very high. It is a very well known Bordeaux-like blend and mine was a 2012 that I picked up for R350.


A warm deep red presents itself when you hold the glass up to some light, interestingly enough the cork had a less opaque hue to it and even had barely perceivable specs of white once it dried out.

Meerlust Rubicon

Meerlust Rubicon


A bit shy on the nose is the best I can describe, note this was a proper Cape winter’s day and the wine was most likely below what would be considered optimum drinking temperature. If I let myself be pretentious for a split second and really dig deep for a reference I’d say a hint of sun dried tomatoes even.


Velvet to my tongue that is, admittedly, very much biased in favour of full bodied red wines. At least that was the texture in the end, read on …


The taste is ultimately the only thing that matters and when I sampled the Rubicon in the tasting room it was without a doubt one of the best red wines I’ve ever tasted, hence expectations were high.

Perhaps it was the cold weather, perhaps the crazy reference of sun dried tomato when I tried to desperately identify the aroma simply prejudiced my brain into a state of apathy, but the first few sips were somewhat acidic which was a surprise. After a fair number of additional sips it only really changed its tune once it was paired with some gorgonzola; suddenly it was soft and complex again without any offense.

Will I buy it again?

To be honest I feel like I have to. I know this is a much better wine than the bottle I managed to get and I cannot accept that I would have been so far off the mark in the tasting room, perhaps another visit beforehand is on the cards. From what I recall, when it tastes like it is intended it is well worth the price tag.

Meerlust Rubicon

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