Wine: Rustenberg Stellenbosch John X Merriman 2006
Region: Stellenbosch, South Africa

This full-bodied red is a blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, petit verbot, cabernet franc, and malbec. If you think that’s a lot for any one wine to handle, you might be right — but John X Merriman gets pretty close to doing the job!

Letting this wine breath is definitely recommended as I first tried it at a wine dinner last month and was more impressed with it then, when it had been aerating for hours. On this night, the taste was quite different for me, but still pretty good. It was better that first time, though, when it breathed.

The nose was full of eucalyptus and a bit of smokiness. On drinking, my mouth filled with raisins and dates. There was a soft leather undertone and some sort of berry that I couldn’t put my finger on, though raspberry was close.  A great wine with the potential to be even better.

3 stars

3 stars



Other Bloggers’ Thoughts:

Fiona Beckett @Matching Food and Wine on the 2005 Vintage–

Even at the full price it’s a bargain, though owing to the screwcap, I suspect, its gloriously lush berry fruit didn’t reveal itself until the bottle had been open for a couple of days (inexplicably we didn’t finish it off when we opened it but were glad, in the event, that we hadn’t). The back label says it will repay maturation for 10-15 years (2015 to 2020) which sounds realistic to me. But if you want to drink it before then I’d decant it – when first opened the tannins were still a bit chunky.

SourGrapes on the 2003 Vintage–

Smell: Dark cherries, chocolate, green peppers

Taste: Almost a sour start but then an explosion of flavours from cherry and blackcurrant to eucalyptus and leather. It doesn’t stop there – there’s far more going on. Tannins are just right, not leaving an overly dry effect in the mouth. High acid and sourness will probably soften out a bit if left in a cellar for a few more years. I left it overnight in a decanter and it softened a little, but not much – so perhaps a few more years in the bottle is what’s required.

Cory @ WinePeeps on the 2005 Vintage–

Rudy red in color. Nose is a bit tight up front. Opens up the longer it is open. Black fruits and coffee come through on the palate. Medium-bodied and the tannins become more drying with food. Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)

Reviewed 12.18.09 by The Gourmez.

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