Rubicon: Southern Exposure

What a difference a __________ makes! Same producer, same year, same bottle, different cork, same-ish varieties, same ABV, the RED a miserable swill of brown, maderized road-tar, the RUBICON stunning in ways California doesn’t quite do and Australia doesn’t quite do and Chile doesn’t quite do–though there are nods to all. Blind, I’d probably go with Australia, as there’s no doubting that eucalyptus, though it goes fresh-mowed-dogpark atop obligatory scorched red earth. The green briar pinches a distinct shot of prickle into the nose, like breaking open a fat stalk of wild lettuce or hacking at poison oak and blackberry vines. Slightly below lies a fat layer of deep red fruit–black even–the combination of which reminiscent of Howell or Diamond the way redwood detritus and volcanic feel each other up on a date with black cherry and licorice.

Then you taste it. Holy fuck. And this wine’s not expensive!!! In the grand scheme of 40-dollar wine HOW have we dulled ourselves down enough to shortchange wines like this??!? You can’t even buy decent Grenache for that in California, much less Pinot. Napa and most of Sonoma spit on your 40-buck wines and here’s something with 6 years of free age for what is fast becoming a BARGAIN in the states. Supple and dense, briary aspects prodding everything along with sharp vivacity and force. Fruit reflects the gentle brick in the glass, but tertiary is a subtle beast only glancing off the acidity of the fruit but not injecting copious leather or lace into things. The power in the finish seals the deal, with tannin glowing bright and citrus along lines drawn tightly by stupidly rich berry and shivs of acid. Find this wine. Call somebody, I don’t care, anybody, you can find it. Given the horrible state of the considerably less expensive ‘Red Blend’ though, I would be EXTREMELY careful of provenance–even with the Rubicon. And this wine just gets better and better in the glass with air.

2017 MEERLUST ‘Red’ CF/ME/Cab 55/33/12 Stellenbosch Estate South Africa 14.0
2017 MEERLUST ‘Rubicon’ Cab/ME/CF/PV 68/16/12/4 Stellenbosch Estate South Africa 14.0

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