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Named after a former owner of Rustenberg, John Xavier Merriman, who bought the farm in 1892 in sympathy with farmers suffering from the phylloxera crisis.

John X Merriman is a powerful wine that rewards aging. In its youth the wine is worth decanting and expresses cassis, blackcurrant and dark fruits complemented with cigar tobacco and sour cherry notes. As the wine ages and its fine-grained tannins soften, a softer more savoury palate develops revealing wonderful drinkability and tertiary complexity. A blend of 43.5% Merlot, 41% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Malbec and 7.5% Petit Verdot.

Technical analysis

ALCOHOL

14.0 %

RESIDUAL SUGAR

3.4 g/L

pH

3.72

ACIDITY

5.6 g/L

ORIGIN

South Africa

WINEMAKER

Murray Barlow

VARIETY

Red Blend

FINED USING

Egg white

TIME IN OAK

20 months

MALOLACTIC FERMENTATION

Yes

CLOSURE

Screw top

BOTTLE SIZE

75cl

REGION

Simonsberg-Stellenbosch

VEGETARIAN

Yes

VEGAN

No

Vintage conditions

The 2019 vintage was a challenging one for the Rustenberg team. While the winter of 2018 was a welcome break from the previous four winters of drought, most vineyards had not fully recovered and produced below average yields. A warm snap in June and a wet spring, coupled with a wetter than average summer harvesting season made 2019 a challenge, with some late harvest thinning or multiple harvests of the same vineyard required to achieve uniformity. Early and mid-season ripening varieties performed well, all achieving flavour ripeness at lower alcohol levels, while late ripening varieties required patience and extended time on the vines, again achieving lower alcohols overall, but creating ripe, structured wines.

Vinification details

Grapes were hand-picked and crushed and de-stemmed on arriving at the winery. Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks with regular pump overs and an extended maceration of up to seven days. After primary fermentation the wine was transferred to oak barriques (35% new French; 65% second- and third-fill) for 20 months’ maturation.

Green credentials

Accredited Integrated Production of Wine (IPW) estate.

Have a trade enquiry?
Contact us to discuss

Cassis and red berry fruit flavours are framed by 35% new wood, with a sprig of mint adding extra perfume.

Tim Atkin MW

Download full size images

Named after a former owner of Rustenberg, John Xavier Merriman, who bought the farm in 1892 in sympathy with farmers suffering from the phylloxera crisis.

John X Merriman is a powerful wine that rewards aging. In its youth the wine is worth decanting and expresses cassis, blackcurrant and dark fruits complemented with cigar tobacco and sour cherry notes. As the wine ages and its fine-grained tannins soften, a softer more savoury palate develops revealing wonderful drinkability and tertiary complexity. A blend of 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot and 2% Malbec.

Technical analysis

ALCOHOL

14.0 %

RESIDUAL SUGAR

3.5 g/L

pH

3.45

ACIDITY

5.8 g/L

ORIGIN

South Africa

VARIETY

Red Blend

FINED USING

Egg white

TIME IN OAK

20 months

MALOLACTIC FERMENTATION

Yes

CLOSURE

Screw top

BOTTLE SIZE

75cl

REGION

Stellenbosch

VEGETARIAN

Yes

VEGAN

No

Vintage conditions

This vintage was impacted by the fourth year of the ongoing drought in the region. The 2017 winter was cold and dry, followed by a dry spring and summer, with bouts of unusual weather. A number of thunderstorms resulted in a late onset of additional vigour in the vineyards. Unsettled weather and wind during flowering, along with a freak hail storm and low levels of soil moisture decreased yields by 20% to 50%. The harvest began closer to its average start date and the smaller berries and bunches yielded lower juice volumes per ton. The lower yields resulted in the wines showing excellent concentration and body, producing rich, robust reds.

Vinification details

Grapes were hand-picked and crushed and de-stemmed on arriving at the winery. Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks with regular pump overs and an extended maceration of up to seven days. After primary fermentation the wine was transferred to oak barriques (35% new French; 65% second- and third-fill) for 20 months’ maturation.

Awards

Tim Atkin MW: 93 pts
IWSC: Silver

Green credentials

Accredited Integrated Production of Wine (IPW) estate.

Have a trade enquiry?
Contact us to discuss

There might still be some 2017 John X on shelves, and if there is make sure you bag yourself a case.

Tim Atkin MW

Download full size images

Named after a former owner of Rustenberg, John Xavier Merriman, who bought the farm in 1892 in sympathy with farmers suffering from the phylloxera crisis.

John X Merriman is a powerful wine that rewards aging. In its youth the wine is worth decanting and expresses cassis, blackcurrant and dark fruits complemented with cigar tobacco and sour cherry notes. As the wine ages and its fine-grained tannins soften, a softer more savoury palate develops revealing wonderful drinkability and tertiary complexity. A blend of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 5% Malbec, 5% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc.

Technical analysis

ALCOHOL

14.5 %

RESIDUAL SUGAR

3.4 g/L

pH

3.49

ACIDITY

6.4 g/L

ORIGIN

South Africa

WINEMAKER

Murray Barlow

VARIETY

Red Blend

FINED USING

Egg white

TIME IN OAK

20 months

MALOLACTIC FERMENTATION

Yes

CLOSURE

Cork

BOTTLE SIZE

75cl

REGION

Stellenbosch

VEGETARIAN

Yes

VEGAN

No

Vintage conditions

The winter of 2016 was dry but cold as drought conditions persisted in the Western Cape. Despite the drought, a warm, dry spring and little wind meant that there was little disease pressure and little stress on the vineyards beyond the heat. Harvest started slightly earlier than usual but was 10 days later than the record early start of the 2016 vintage. Careful use of irrigation to offset the dry drought conditions and cold nights experienced during the first four months of the year resulted in superb quality, and wonderful acidity, colour and flavour concentration in the wines. Indications are that 2017 will be an excellent vintage with plenty of potential to age well.

Vinification details

Grapes were hand-picked and crushed and de-stemmed on arriving at the winery. Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks with regular pump overs and an extended maceration of up to seven days. After primary fermentation the wine was transferred to oak barriques (35% new French; 65% second- and third-fill) for 20 months’ maturation.

Awards

IWSC: Silver
Tim Atkin MW: 94 pts

Green credentials

Accredited Integrated Production of Wine (IPW) estate.

Have a trade enquiry?
Contact us to discuss

Claret-like structure with a little extra ripe red fruit.

Decanter

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Named after a former owner of Rustenberg, John Xavier Merriman, who bought the farm in 1892 in sympathy with farmers suffering from the phylloxera crisis.

The John X Merriman is a powerful wine that rewards aging. In its youth the wine is worth decanting and expresses cassis, blackcurrant and dark fruits complemented with cigar tobacco and sour cherry notes. As the wine ages and its fine grained tannins soften, a softer more savoury palate develops revealing wonderful drinkability and tertiary complexity. A blend of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 5% Malbec, 5% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc.

Technical analysis

ALCOHOL

14.5 %

RESIDUAL SUGAR

2.7 g/L

pH

3.49

ACIDITY

5.7 g/L

ORIGIN

South Africa

WINEMAKER

Murray Barlow

VARIETY

Red Blend

HARVEST DATE

February 2016

BOTTLED DATE

December 2017

FINED USING

Egg white

TIME IN OAK

20 months

MALOLACTIC FERMENTATION

Yes

CLOSURE

Cork

BOTTLE SIZE

75cl

REGION

Stellenbosch

VEGETARIAN

Yes

VEGAN

No

Vintage conditions

Following a warm start to the year, the winter of 2015 was dry but cold enough to allow the estate’s vineyards to properly rest. A very warm, dry spring and summer resulted in an early bud-burst and record high temperatures in December and January brought forward the need to irrigate. As in 2015, the vintage started very early. In the middle of January Rustenberg was engulfed in fire as the entire Simonsberg mountain burnt, sadly destroying 5 hectares of the estate’s vineyards. Generally very low yields of concentrated fruit make the wines of the 2016 vintage upfront and opulent.

Vinification details

Grapes were hand-picked and crushed and de-stemmed on arriving at the winery. Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks with regular pump overs and an extended maceration of up to seven days. After primary fermentation the wine was transferred to oak barriques (35% new French; 65% second- and third-fill) for 20 months’ maturation.

Awards

Decanter: 92 pts
IWC 2019: Silver
IWSC 2018: Silver

Green credentials

Accredited Integrated Production of Wine (IPW) estate.

Have a trade enquiry?
Contact us to discuss

... a big wine, but the oak is well integrated, with fine tannins and blackcurrant leaf and graphite notes.

Tim Atkin MW

Download full size images

Named after a former owner of Rustenberg, John Xavier Merriman, who bought the farm in 1892 in sympathy with farmers suffering from the phylloxera crisis.

The John X Merriman is a powerful wine that rewards aging. In its youth the wine is worth decanting and expresses cassis, blackcurrant and dark fruits complemented with cigar tobacco and sour cherry notes. As the wine ages and its fine grained tannins soften, a softer more savoury palate develops revealing wonderful drinkability and tertiary complexity. In 2015, a blend of 52% Merlot, 41% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Malbec, 1% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot.

Technical analysis

ALCOHOL

14.5 %

RESIDUAL SUGAR

2.6 g/L

pH

3.56

ACIDITY

5.9 g/L

ORIGIN

South Africa

WINEMAKER

Murray Barlow

VARIETY

Red Blend

HARVEST DATE

February 2015

BOTTLED DATE

December 2016

FINED USING

Egg

TIME IN OAK

20 months

MALOLACTIC FERMENTATION

Yes

CLOSURE

Screw top

BOTTLE SIZE

75cl

REGION

Stellenbosch

Vintage conditions

The cold wet winter of 2014 started early and ended late, which is ideal for the vineyards’ dormancy; however an unseasonably cool spring resulted in the vines going into summer with 10 to 40% less crop than usual. The remainder of the season was warm and dry resulting in one of the earliest harvests on record. Zero disease pressure and small crops of fantastic ripe fruit combined with high natural acids make this potentially the vintage of the decade.

Vinification details

Grapes were hand-picked and crushed and de-stemmed on arriving at the winery. Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks with regular pump overs and an extended maceration of up to seven days. After primary fermentation the wine was transferred to oak barriques (35% new French; 65% second- and third-fill) for 20 months’ maturation.

Awards

Tim Atkin MW: 91 pts
IWSC 2018: Silver Outstanding
IWC 2018: Silver
DWWA 2018: Silver

Green credentials

Accredited Integrated Production of Wine (IPW) estate.

Have a trade enquiry?
Contact us to discuss

The 2014 John X Merriman is the spiciest vintage to date according to Murray Barlow, due to the cooler growing season [...] This is discreetly classy.

Neal Martin, eRobertParker.com

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Named after a former owner of Rustenberg, John Xavier Merriman, who bought the farm in 1892 in sympathy with farmers suffering from the phylloxera crisis.

The John X Merriman is a powerful wine that rewards aging. In its youth the wine is worth decanting and expresses cassis, blackcurrant and dark fruits complemented with cigar tobacco and sour cherry notes. As the wine ages and its fine grained tannins soften, a softer more savoury palate develops revealing wonderful drinkability and tertiary complexity. A blend of 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot, 1% Malbec.

Technical analysis

ALCOHOL

14.5 %

RESIDUAL SUGAR

3.6 g/L

pH

3.57

ACIDITY

5.7 g/L

ORIGIN

South Africa

WINEMAKER

Murray Barlow

VARIETY

Red Blend

HARVEST DATE

February 2014

BOTTLED DATE

December 2015

FINED USING

Egg

TIME IN OAK

20 months

MALOLACTIC FERMENTATION

Yes

CLOSURE

Screw top

BOTTLE SIZE

75cl

REGION

Stellenbosch

Vintage conditions

The vineyards emerged from a deep, long dormancy after the wet and cold winter of 2013 into ideal spring conditions that resulted in high cropping levels across all varieties. The summer of 2014 was cool with no major heatwaves and intermittent rain resulting in the production of reds that display restraint and finesse.

Vinification details

Grapes were hand-picked and crushed and de-stemmed on arriving at the winery. Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks with regular pump overs and an extended maceration of up to seven days. After primary fermentation the wine was transferred to oak barriques (35% new French; 65% second- and third-fill) for 20 months’ maturation.

Awards

IWC 2017: Silver
eRobertParker.com: 90 pts

Green credentials

Accredited Integrated Production of Wine (IPW) estate.

Have a trade enquiry?
Contact us to discuss

Super concentration on the palate, with tight knit black fruit, a fine, crisp freshness and high brow tannins.

Decanter

Download full size images

Named after a former owner of Rustenberg, John Xavier Merriman, who bought the farm in 1892 in sympathy with farmers suffering from the phylloxera crisis.

A blend of 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot, 5% Malbec, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. Plum and cigar-box aromatics prelude a multi-layered palate of savoury dark fruits with an elegant tannin structure. This Bordeaux blend typifies Rustenberg terroir.

Technical analysis

ALCOHOL

14.5 %

RESIDUAL SUGAR

2.4 g/L

pH

3.51

ACIDITY

5.7 g/L

ORIGIN

South Africa

WINEMAKER

Murray Barlow

VARIETY

Red Blend

HARVEST DATE

February 2013

BOTTLED DATE

December 2014

FINED USING

Egg

TIME IN OAK

20 months

MALOLACTIC FERMENTATION

Yes

CLOSURE

Screw top

BOTTLE SIZE

75cl

REGION

Stellenbosch

Vintage conditions

The vines emerged from a cold, wet winter and enjoyed even budding in the spring of 2012. Strong winds in early summer affected the yields and canopies of some varieties but cool and consistent weather in early 2013 resulted in later than usual ripening. The cool growing season meant the grapes reaching their flavour ripeness with low sugars resulting in medium-bodied, elegant wines being produced.

Vinification details

Grapes were hand-picked and crushed and de-stemmed on arriving at the winery. Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks with regular pump overs and an extended maceration of up to seven days. After primary fermentation the wine was transferred to oak barriques (35% new French; 65% second- and third-fill) for 20 months’ maturation.

Awards

Decanter 2016: Silver
IWSC 2016: Silver
Tim Atkin MW: 93 pts
Wine Spectator: 90 pts
Veritas 2016: Silver

Green credentials

Accredited Integrated Production of Wine (IPW) estate.

 

Have a trade enquiry?
Contact us to discuss