The youthful 2020 Rustenberg John X. Merriman over delivers in every way. A superlative Meritage or Bordeaux blend based on Cabernet Sauvignon, it offers an enticing aroma of blackberry, black cherry, and plum along with hints of espresso and cedar (that latter the classic cigar box scent so often associated with the best red wines of Bordeaux). Rich and rewarding in the mouth, the 2020 Rustenberg John X. Merriman offers a smorgasbord of flavors (think cassis and plum and the savory cacao notes of the bouquet) all wrapped in ripe, well-integrated tannins. Consistently one of the finest New World Meritage offerings, the 2020 John X. Merriman walks a beautiful line between Old World complexity and the exuberant fruit one finds in the best New World offerings. Although a delight to drink now, it will undoubtedly evolve gracefully for up to a decade. Whether consumed now or several years down the road, we strongly suggest decanting the 2020 John X. Merriman thirty minutes prior to serving at cool room temperature (58°-62° F). Anticipated maturity: 2022-2030. Enjoy!
Rustenberg’s rich, complex 2020 John X. Merriman calls for full-flavored equally endowed accompaniments. 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, as the 2020 John X. Merriman (or any vintage of John X. Merriman) is not a wine to rush through. Hence, we suggest taking time to enjoy and savor this remarkable Meritage or Bordeaux style offering in the company of a fine meal. 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 among the world’s wine countries. 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 has 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 the Western Cape’s terroir, grape varieties, and individual style of winemaking.
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. Merriman 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 that is 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.
Located on the Western Cape less than an hour north of Cape Town, the picture postcard town of Stellenbosch and the surrounding mountains form a dramatic backdrop for what has been heralded as the most beautiful wine country in the world. Although one may debate that claim and the various picturesque merits of other world renowned wine regions, what is not in question is the integral role Stellenbosch has played for more than three centuries in the formation of South African wine. Stellenbosch is unquestionably South Africa’s oldest and most important wine producing region. It is South Africa’s Napa, Sonoma, and Santa Barbara counties all in one. It contains a myriad of microclimates and is responsible for high quality red and white wines from a host of varietals, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Viognier, and South Africa’s most unique varietal, Pinotage, a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault. From wineries in Stellenbosch, both old and new, flow an enormous variety of wines that are both world class and wholly unique in character.
Enjoy Limited Production Estate
Discover limited production estate bottled wines such as Vergenoegd's internationally
acclaimed 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon, imported exclusively for our members.