My curiosity with South African red blends lead me to this blend of 54% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 3% Malbec and 1% Shiraz from Rustenberg. Good reviews from the NYwinewench and WE prompted yet another purchase of a Stellenbosch wine, and this one is even more specific as it’s labeled as wine of origin Simonsberg-Stellenbosch.
The name of this wine is a tribute to John X Merriman, a Cape Parliamentarian, Minister of Agriculture and Prime Minister who bought the farm in 1892. He believed in the future of South Africa’s wine industry even after phylloxera devastated it. How did I know this? It says it on the bottle of course.
In the glass it shows crimson red with mouth-watering aromas of dark chocolate, spice cake, dark cherry, plum and some meatiness. Absolutely luxurious on the palate with ultra fine grained tannins and a mouth filling body. Despite such intense fruit and chocolaty sweetness it stays refreshingly balanced with its firm acidity. The finish is perpetual and as satisfying as I’ve had in recent memory.
As far as Bordeaux inspired blends go this one is a steal at the $25 to $30 price range. It drinks like a plus $50 red and in a few ways will probably outclass several in that range due to its complexity and overall mature nature. Great stuff and I’m dying to get my hands on more from this producer.