Rustenberg

John X Merriman Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon Blend

9.0204 ratings
9.029 pro ratings
Stellenbosch, Coastal Region, Western Cape, South Africa
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc
Top Notes For
David T

Independent Sommelier/Wine Educator

9.3

The red fruits shine. They are bright, fresh with nice florals. Blackberries, dark cherries, black plum, black raspberries, blueberries and poached strawberries. Dark chocolate, mocha, caramel, vanilla, clove, cinnamon, tobacco with ash, dark rich soils, berry cola, steeped fruit tea, red fruit liqueur notes with fresh & withering dark & red florals.

The body is full with powdery, dusty, meaty, tarry and sticky tannins. The fruits are ripe, delicious and easy to drink now but, will benefit from 6-8 more years in bottle. Blackberries, dark cherries, black plum, black raspberries, blueberries and poached strawberries. Dark chocolate, mocha, caramel, vanilla, clove, cinnamon, dark spice with a little heat, tobacco with ash, dark rich soils, berry cola, steeped fruit tea, red fruit liqueur notes with fresh & withering dark & red florals. The acidity is round and beautiful. The long finish is ripe, juicy, well balanced, delicious and persist nicely.

Photos of; Rustenberg’s hillside vines, our tasting lounge, fermentation cellar with hanging stainless tanks so they can work the process with gravity, and Rustenberg’s Cellar Door and grounds.

The red fruits shine. They are bright, fresh with nice florals. Blackberries, dark cherries, black plum, black raspberries, blueberries and poached strawberries. Dark chocolate, mocha, caramel, vanilla, clove, cinnamon, tobacco with ash, dark rich soils, berry cola, steeped fruit tea, red fruit liqueur notes with fresh & withering dark & red florals.

The body is full with powdery, dusty, meaty, tarry and sticky tannins. The fruits are ripe, delicious and easy to drink now but, will benefit from 6-8 more years in bottle. Blackberries, dark cherries, black plum, black raspberries, blueberries and poached strawberries. Dark chocolate, mocha, caramel, vanilla, clove, cinnamon, dark spice with a little heat, tobacco with ash, dark rich soils, berry cola, steeped fruit tea, red fruit liqueur notes with fresh & withering dark & red florals. The acidity is round and beautiful. The long finish is ripe, juicy, well balanced, delicious and persist nicely.

Photos of; Rustenberg’s hillside vines, our tasting lounge, fermentation cellar with hanging stainless tanks so they can work the process with gravity, and Rustenberg’s Cellar Door and grounds.

May 10th, 2019
Ellen Clifford

Cab-quest goes on! And this is so good it made this goth heart grin. Although realized this is 52% Merlot whoops. And after that Cab S plus small shares of Malbec, Cab f and petit Verdot (which I personally wanna see more single varietal iterations of). All things aside DAMN it gets the super specific term “yummy”. Red and black cassis, bits of blackberry, allspice and licorice and chocolate goodness! Silky as sin—deceptively easy to drink quickly so beware/enjoy...I’m enjoying but then I’m home alone. Has a lovely refreshing earthy note that keeps on keeping on...

Cab-quest goes on! And this is so good it made this goth heart grin. Although realized this is 52% Merlot whoops. And after that Cab S plus small shares of Malbec, Cab f and petit Verdot (which I personally wanna see more single varietal iterations of). All things aside DAMN it gets the super specific term “yummy”. Red and black cassis, bits of blackberry, allspice and licorice and chocolate goodness! Silky as sin—deceptively easy to drink quickly so beware/enjoy...I’m enjoying but then I’m home alone. Has a lovely refreshing earthy note that keeps on keeping on...

Sep 9th, 2018
Bob McDonald

From 375 ml bought at the Cellar Door 5 Years ago. Initially not showing a lot of Cabernet characteristics. 51% Cabernet Sauvignon; 35 % Merlot; 7% Cabernet Franc; and 3% Malbec. Some Cabernet mint Characters but not typical of some of the excellent Cabernets from Stellenbosch. One of the 1001 Wines.

From 375 ml bought at the Cellar Door 5 Years ago. Initially not showing a lot of Cabernet characteristics. 51% Cabernet Sauvignon; 35 % Merlot; 7% Cabernet Franc; and 3% Malbec. Some Cabernet mint Characters but not typical of some of the excellent Cabernets from Stellenbosch. One of the 1001 Wines.

Aug 5th, 2018
Greg Ballington

Co-Founder of Millennial Drinkers Wine Blog

8.9

Third of the blinds.

Medium to deep mix of garnet and ruby red. Definitely showing it's age on the nose with bell peppers, tomato, chalk and some cinnamon with air. Medium plus tannins (6.5/10) that are rounded and well integrated. Layered palate with red berries, gravel, cedar, cassis, herbaceous notes and eucalyptus. Seemed a touch younger on the palate. Medium bodied with a very dry and long finish. Drink till 2020.

Third of the blinds.

Medium to deep mix of garnet and ruby red. Definitely showing it's age on the nose with bell peppers, tomato, chalk and some cinnamon with air. Medium plus tannins (6.5/10) that are rounded and well integrated. Layered palate with red berries, gravel, cedar, cassis, herbaceous notes and eucalyptus. Seemed a touch younger on the palate. Medium bodied with a very dry and long finish. Drink till 2020.

Aug 8th, 2017
Keith Ward

Don’t be fooled by the screw cap!!Beautiful dark garnet red and a nose that talks to dried fruit, leather and a deep herbaceous note. Wonderful on the pallet and a long finish that lends to cherry followed by fresh tobacco and lingers onto a concentrated finish. Drinks well now and should hold well into the future.

Don’t be fooled by the screw cap!!Beautiful dark garnet red and a nose that talks to dried fruit, leather and a deep herbaceous note. Wonderful on the pallet and a long finish that lends to cherry followed by fresh tobacco and lingers onto a concentrated finish. Drinks well now and should hold well into the future.

1 person found it helpfulFeb 13th, 2018
Susan Lin

Business Development Belmont Wine Exchange, WSET Diploma candidate

9.3

New world fruit with an old world palate: clean yet earthy, with plums, redcurrants, bramble and herbaceous tomato lead, dried violets, tar, rubber (but not overly so) and a dusty, peppery lift. 2011 vintage. Cask matured 20 months. Beautifully matched on nose and palate; sleekly robust.

New world fruit with an old world palate: clean yet earthy, with plums, redcurrants, bramble and herbaceous tomato lead, dried violets, tar, rubber (but not overly so) and a dusty, peppery lift. 2011 vintage. Cask matured 20 months. Beautifully matched on nose and palate; sleekly robust.

1 person found it helpfulJun 26th, 2015
Shay A
9.1

It's easy to get stuck in to the rut of enjoying California wines (and I need to branch out to Oregon and Washington!), as we have access to some phenomenal New World US wines. In an effort to expand my knowledge, I began seeking out some South African wines, and @Greg Ballington knew just how to help. This is the first of 3 wines he sent (we did a wine swap) and a great start! This 2011 is drinking excellent right now, and I found it to drink just as well on the first day as it did the second. For the price, this is an awesome value. This is all red fruit like boysenberries and raspberries mixed with vegetal notes on the nose. The finish is full of herbs, red licorice and earthy undertones.

It's easy to get stuck in to the rut of enjoying California wines (and I need to branch out to Oregon and Washington!), as we have access to some phenomenal New World US wines. In an effort to expand my knowledge, I began seeking out some South African wines, and @Greg Ballington knew just how to help. This is the first of 3 wines he sent (we did a wine swap) and a great start! This 2011 is drinking excellent right now, and I found it to drink just as well on the first day as it did the second. For the price, this is an awesome value. This is all red fruit like boysenberries and raspberries mixed with vegetal notes on the nose. The finish is full of herbs, red licorice and earthy undertones.

Jan 25th, 2017
Greg Ballington

Co-Founder of Millennial Drinkers Wine Blog

9.1

Deep ruby red. Tons of earthiness on the nose with bell peppers, almost jalapenos and cherries. Moderate tannins (6.5/10) and full bodied. Similar notes on the palate with earthiness, cherries and greenery. Long and lingering finish. This is an insane QPR and delicious SA Bordeaux blend. Drink till 2024.

Deep ruby red. Tons of earthiness on the nose with bell peppers, almost jalapenos and cherries. Moderate tannins (6.5/10) and full bodied. Similar notes on the palate with earthiness, cherries and greenery. Long and lingering finish. This is an insane QPR and delicious SA Bordeaux blend. Drink till 2024.

Jan 11th, 2017
Peter van den Besselaar

Vintage 2010 - good effort!

Vintage 2010 - good effort!

Sep 23rd, 2016
Shirish Bhide

Black fruits with a hint of stalkiness. Long finish. Could spend another year or two in the bottle.

Black fruits with a hint of stalkiness. Long finish. Could spend another year or two in the bottle.

Feb 27th, 2016