Rustenberg’s 2010 John X Merriman is an elegant, mouth-watering blend of 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec and 1% Cabernet Franc. In this sleek but complex blend, Rustenberg has created the quintessential meritage offering. In both bouquet and flavor, the 2010 John X Merriman provides a true smorgasbord of scents and savors that sing from the glass. Blackberry, cherry, plum, coffee, chocolate, eucalyptus, and mint are just some of the notes we detected in the wine. Add a touch of cedar, a cigar box scent, and layered complex tones imbued by 20 months in cask and it’s easy to see that there’s a lot going on in this wine. With such a wealth of flavors backed by firm ripe tannins, the 2010 John X Merriman should evolve gracefully for years to come. But make no mistake; this outstanding meritage offering can be enjoyed now. However, we strongly suggest decanting the 2010 John X Merriman at least thirty minutes prior to serving at cool room temperature (60°-65° F).
Rustenberg’s full-bodied 2010 John X Merriman calls for full-flavored foods as companions. Prime rib, loin lamb chops, venison, and other forms of game provide superb accompaniments. Sirloin tips, served with a wild mushroom sauce; veal and shitake stuffed ravioli; and pork tenderloin, prepared with a black currant paste or balsamic fig sauce make splendid pairings, too. Quail and other game birds provide mouthwatering accompaniments to a bottle of John X Merriman as well. The rich flavors in the meats beg to be savored along with the wine, and a bottle of the 2010 John X Merriman is not a wine to rush through. Hence, we suggest time in the company of a meal to be savored be a prerequisite for the enjoyment of this remarkable Bordeaux style offering. Bon Appétit!
Stellenbosch and the surrounding wine lands of South Africa’s Western Cape hardly receive the attention and excitement they deserve. No viticultural area or major wine producing region in the world presents itself more spectacularly. The sheer physical beauty of Africa’s Western Cape, paired with commanding waves of well tended hillside vines and the proliferation of centuries old Cape Dutch architecture make Stellenbosch both stunningly beautiful and unique. One of the oldest and most influential wine estates in this majestic wine land is Rustenberg.
Rustenberg was founded in 1682. It lay nestled in the valley of the Simonsberg, at the very heart of the Stellenbosch wine region. Rustenberg produces a full range of wines, including Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, and several exciting blends. This family owned property enjoys a rich heritage and an ethos that have been informed by many centuries of human influence striving to understand and work with nature to produce wines of distinct character that are true to their terroir, variety and style.
Rustenberg’s flagship offering, John X Merriman, is a wine named in honor of a former owner of Rustenberg, John Xavier Merriman. Merriman bought the farm in 1892 in sympathy with farmers suffering from the phylloxera crisis. He played a crucial role in revitalizing Rustenberg after the discovery of phylloxera and worked assiduously to promote tourism and the agricultural importance of Ida’s Valley, the area close to the town of Stellenbosch where Rustenberg is located. Today, the Barlow family carries on the tradition of John X Merriman. The Barlows have completely revitalized the property in the post-Apartheid era and restored the vineyard and surrounding estate to its pre-phylloxera glory.
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