Meerlust Red 2014

IN: WINEWINE OF THE WEEK COLUMN

I’ve never done a wine of the year but now seems a fairly obvious time to announce what we feel is pound for pound the best wine we’ve come across in 2017. We’ve tasted some incredible wines and it all started with our trip to South Africa at the beginning of year where we were exposed to a whole new world joyousness.  There’s little doubt for me that any other country is producing value for money that comes anything close to what is coming out of South Africa and the quality pretty much across the board is utterly jaw-dropping and none more so than from legendary Stellenbosch producer Meerlust Estate. This beautiful farm offers a fantastic example of what South Africa has to offer wine lovers. Established in 1693 and family owned for eight generations of the Myburgh family. Meerlust do both single varietal wines (Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon) but are best known for their renowned Bordeaux blends. Their flagship wine is Rubicon, a rich and complex Cabernet lead blend that has been delighting people for many years. For Bordeaux lovers those not looking the splurge this much on a bottle, Meerlust have a more reasonably priced Bordeaux blend that punches well above its weight in the form of Meerlust Red (£13 and £26 for magnum). Unlike the Cabernet Sauvignon dominated Rubicon, Meerlust Red is a more balanced blend with near equal proportions of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, with a small proportion of Petit Verdot adding a degree of inkiness. The high amount of Cabernet Franc is probably the aspect that distinguishes most from Bordeaux, with notes of redcurrent and pencil shavings being prominent on the nose. The ripe Merlot gives a satisfying roundness and approachability even in relative youth, with Cabernet Sauvignon adding weight and structure, without being overwhelmingly tannic. This is truly a great wine, particularly considering the price. There are certainly Bordeaux wines out there for under £15 that offer that this level quality, but these bargains can often be hard to find and vary greatly from vintage to vintage. Meerlust Red however packs that killer combination of year on year consistency, classic Bordeaux characteristics and excellent value for money. An easy choice for my wine of the year 2017.

See the wine HERE