The 2015 Rustenberg Peter Barlow Cabernet Sauvignon has been awarded 93 points by Tim Atkins, Master of Wine; a Platinum Trophy from the Decanter World Wine Awards; and the American Express Trophy for Best Cabernet Sauvignon. The name pays tribute to the member of the Barlow family who bought the farm in 1941 and restored the property to its former glory as a world-class wine estate. The Peter Barlow Cabernet Sauvignon emanates from the estate’s oldest Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard of the same name. This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon is the estate’s most powerful, long lived wine, a wine of deep color and bold flavors. Blackberry, cassis, and dark cherry scents and flavors infused with a pleasant herbaceousness permeate this sophisticated Bordeaux-style Cabernet Sauvignon, which bears more than a passing resemblance to classified Bordeaux from the prized Saint Julien and Pauillac appellations. Endowed with rich tannins and a pleasant patina from a 24-month hiatus in French oak barrels (of which nearly two thirds were new), this hand-picked, handcrafted wine bears the mark of the outstanding 2015 vintage in Stellenbosch and highlights the Barlows’ no-expense-spared philosophy toward their flagship offering. Enjoy the 2015 Peter Barlow Cabernet Sauvignon now through 2028. For optimal enjoyment, we suggest decanting the 2015 Rustenberg Peter Barlow Cabernet Sauvignon at least thirty minutes prior to serving at cool room temperature (60°-62° F).
Rustenberg’s complex, flavorful 2015 Peter Barlow Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon 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 also provide mouthwatering accompaniments to a bottle of Rustenberg’s bold-flavored Peter Barlow Cabernet Sauvignon. The rich flavors in the meats beg to be savored along with the wine, as the Peter Barlow Cabernet Sauvignon is a wine to contemplate, not rush through. Hence, we suggest time in the company of a fine meal be a prerequisite for the enjoyment of this complex, sophisticated Bordeaux-style Cabernet Sauvignon. 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 lies 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 the Western Cape’s terroir, grape varieties, and individual style of winemaking.
Rustenberg’s two flagship offerings are the Peter Barlow Cabernet Sauvignon (this month’s feature) and John X. Merriman, a Bordeaux-style blend named in honor of John Xavier Merriman, a former owner of Rustenberg. 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 close to the town of Stellenbosch where Rustenberg is located. The Barlow family, the present owners and guardians of Rustenberg, carry 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 post card 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, 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 world class and wholly unique in character.
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