97+ pts Greg Sherwood MW
Mesmerizingly dark black purple colour, this youthful wine is wonderfully crystalline, focused and pure, possessing such pretty aromatics of cherry blossom, rose petals, caramelised cranberries, violets, cherry pie, raspberry infused herbal tea and a subtle creamy vanilla pod extravagance. The palate is ultra suave, opulent yet effortlessly fresh and defined, supremely balanced and concentrated. Such gorgeous depth and seamless elegance, a tantalizing brûléed buttered brown toast complexity, creamy filigree tannins and an incredibly long, spellbinding finish. This is going to be a definite future icon vintage on par with the very best Cru Classe wines produced in Bordeaux but at a fraction of the price. Get in early, get in quick, and go long. This is one of the most profound Rubicons of the modern era. Drink from 2020 to 2045+."
94 pts winemag.co.za April 18, 2018
What more to say about Rubicon 2015 from Stellenbosch property Meerlust subsequent to its 97+ rating from Greg Sherwood MW and wine buyer at Handford Wines in South Kensington, London.
A blend of 61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot, the nose shows red and black fruit, an attractive herbal note, pencil shavings and oak spice. The palate is medium bodied and has a lovely composure about it – excellent fruit definition, zippy acidity and fine-grained tannins (alc: 14%). It’s being talked up as being able to last for decades and I think it will but not because of any massive structure but rather how pure and harmonious it is. It pretty much corresponds to your mind’s eye picture of what Rubicon at its best should taste like.
92 pts Vinous/Neil Martin August 2018
The 2015 Rubicon had been a source of contention prior to my visit, hailed by some respected commentators as one of the Cape’s greats and then almost pilloried in a contemporaneous blind tasting. It is a blend of 61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot, each fermented separately before blending. It was matured for 18 months in 66% new oak and the remainder second-fill. So what do I make of the wine? It is clear in color with quite a deep core. The bouquet is refined and focused, offering attractive mint- and graphite-infused black and red fruit and perhaps leaning a little more toward the latter compared to previous vintages. With aeration, subtle touches of pencil shavings emerge. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grained tannin and quite velvety in texture, displaying very well integrated new oak. There is a satisfying sense of harmony to this Rubicon and it is certainly well constructed, but it does not possess that peacock’s tail on the finish that takes a very good wine to the level of great. Perfectly enjoyable, and it demonstrates very good winemaking; however, when compared to, say, the 2015 Paul Sauer, it just falls a little short. [I tasted this sighted and then in a mini blind tasting to confirm.]