Rustenberg Stellenbosch John X Merriman 2008

Plum and cigar box aromatics prelude a multi-layered palate with an elegant tannin structure.


variety : Cabernet Sauvignon | 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 2% Malbec
winery : Rustenberg Wines
winemaker : Randolph Christians
wine of origin : Stellenbosch
analysis : alc : 14.65 % vol  rs : 2.9 g/l  pH : 3.59  ta : 5.9 g/l  
type : Red  style : Dry   wooded
pack : Bottle  closure : Cork  

AWARDS
5 Stars in UK's Decanter Magazine - Nancy Gilchrist MW - April 2012
Robert Parker Rating Aug. 2011 - 93 Points
Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show 2011 - Silver Medal
TOP 100 South African Wines 2011

ageing : This Bordeaux blend typifies Rustenberg terroir and has good ageing potential, if cellared correctly.

10 -15 Years from vintage.

in the vineyard :  Situation: South-West slopes of The Simonsberg Mountain, Stellenbosch
Wine of Origin: Simonsberg-Stellenbosch
Altitude: 300m - 420m
Distance from Sea: ± 25 Km
Soil Type: Decomposed Granite (Hutton / Tukulu), Oakleaf
Root Stock: 101-14 mgt
Age of Vines: 10 - 20 years
Trellising: Vertical shoot-positioned
Pruning: 2 Bud-Spur pruning
Irrigation: Drip irrigated

Vintage Comment
Winter 2007 was colder than usual, with more rain than in previous years: 637mm fell from May to August, versus 499mm and 517mm in 2006 and 2005 respectively. This boded well for good bud-break in spring, which occurred late but was even. The spring of the vintage year was cooler than previous years, with a slow drying-out of soil moisture. The soil reached its need for irrigation at the correct time, just prior to veraison (berry colouring). The rain in February and March 2008 was not really welcome, although it did coincide with the irrigation requirements of the tightly-monitored blocks. Cooler nights and warmer days took us into the harvest period, with a greater number of days reaching above 30°C than in the previous 4 years. Strong winds played havoc with the canopies, making a lot of work for the vineyard teams! Even ripening and consistent grape condition for both white and red varieties were evident; phenolic ripeness at lower sugars with fantastic acids (all natural) bode well for these varieties. When asked to sum up the 2008 vintage, the viticulture team was enthusiastic: "Superb, very good, very excited!"

about the harvest: Grapes were harvested on February 2008 - end March 2008.
Sugar: 23.6° - 25.9° Balling

in the cellar : 18 batches were vinified separately, and approximately 9 aerative pump-overs were employed. 2 or 3 rack and returns occurred during primary fermentation at approximately 26° C, in order to ensure maximum extraction, followed by 2 to 3 weeks extended maceration on skins. The wine was then drained and gravity-filled to barrels for Malolactic Fermentation (MLF). The separate batches were blended after 9 months and then returned to barrel for a further 12 months' maturation. Plum and cigar-box aromatics prelude a multi-layered palate with an elegant tannin structure.

This wine is named for a former owner of Rustenberg, John Xavier Merriman, who bought the farm in 1892 in sympathy with farmers suffering from the phyloxera crisis. He played a great role in revitalizing Rustenberg and in promoting the tourism and agricultural value of Ida's Valley, the area close to the town of Stellenbosch in which Rustenberg is situated.

Oak used: 35 % new and 65 % 2nd and 3rd fill 225L French oak barrels.
Bottled: May 2010

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