26-12-2011

A taste of bay breezes at Meerlust

Meerlust is something of a peculiar name that, in Afrikaans describes the pleasure obtained from the sea breezes that blow inland from the False Bay (which is only 5km away) over the farm. Needless to say, it’s an old name that dates back to 1693 when the land was originally granted to a man named Henning Hüsing and was one of the first 12 estates in Stellenbosch.

In 1757 Johannes Albertus Myburgh bought the estate and since then, it has remained in the possession of the Myburgh family with eighth generation, Hannes Myburgh as the current winemaker. On the 110 hectares of vineyards, they grow Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Pinot Noir. The old, original buildings (one of which is a national monument) are at the heart of the winery giving it wonderful charm that is enhanced by the palm-lined driveway and winery dogs lounging about the premises, soaking in the sun.

The 2008 Chardonnay has a light nose with just a hint of green apple and a touch of oak that gets enjoyably lost in the body. There are overall tropical elements that are quite pleasing. It’s a nicely-balanced wine that finishes out well, but even still, doesn’t quite justify the price. R 180

The 2003 Pinot Noir is a wickedly odd Pinot in so many great ways. The nose is very earthy with hints of wild mushrooms. The body loses this, but picks up more of the oak as well as a light hint of oysters and just a touch of silkiness. The finish is dry and clean overall. It’s a really, really different wine that some will quite like and others will just not get despite its spending 15 months in French oak. Definitely worth checking out if they still have any around. R 175

The 2008 Pinot Noir is much more oaky and silken on the nose, like a “typical” Pinot. It spends 11 months in French oak. The body is also more typical, but it also has that what seems to be this signature oyster quality to the body. Silky and smooth, it finishes up clean and would most likely be good with a great number of foods, including vegetable dishes that would emphasize the earthy qualities of the wine. R 190

The 2006 Merlot is a blend of 88% Merlot and 12% Cabernet Franc. The nose is bursting with blackberries. The body is nice with developed plum flavors that carry out in to the finish. It’s dry on the palate in a way that is a bit much, but some may find works well with with their dishes. R 210

The 2005 Rubicon is a blend of 69% Cab Sauv, 15% Merlot, and 16% Cab Franc. The nose is subtle with light oak as well as cedar qualities to it. The body is initially plum and plush, taking on quite dry qualities. The finish is interesting as it is minty initially but gives way to blackberry elements as it clears out, lingering in a wholly pleasant manner. R 260

We talk a great deal more about the wines of Stellenbosch and other Cape Town wineries in our Stellenbosch wine guide.