New releases: Meerlust Merlot 2021 and Pinot Noir 2023

New releases: Meerlust Merlot 2021 and Pinot Noir 2023
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With winter fully settled in, Meerlust Estate launches two new wines: Merlot 2021 and Pinot Noir 2023.

Winter has fully settled in, and our vines have all entered dormancy which is the essential first stage in the growing season for the next harvest. It's the perfect time for us to share two new vintage releases from Meerlust Estate.

2021 has been referred to as another superb vintage for red wines, following on from 2015 and 2017. Jancis Robinson writes that moderate weather themed the season, and with it slower ripening and consequently longer hang times, concentrating both flavour and colour. The cool conditions of 2021 allowed producers to cherry pick the moment to bring in the fruit, resulting in wines with age.

Meerlust Merlot 2021

Meerlust has been producing the Estate Merlot since 1984. Our Merlot, which is packaged in its very distinctive gold label, is grown on two sites on the estate, namely Compagniesdrift and The Quarry:

  • Compagniesdrift: The warm north facing granitic hilltop producing wines that are expressive and bold in structure, mainly due to the coarse gravelly texture and sufficient soil depth to promote long and even ripening.
  • The Quarry: The extremely rocky terrain consisting of greywacke with shales provides a unique substrate for vines. Shallow rooted vines on this cool and windswept foot slope leads to wines with characteristic red fruit with exceptional length, detail, and precision.

The growing season of 2021 was characterised by late winter rainfall, but regular cold fronts contributed almost 100 mm more precipitation than in the previous season. Soil profiles were well saturated and farm dams returned to pre-drought levels. Ripening was consistently about 10-14 days later than the previous year, and the ripening period was very moderate. This resulted in good hang times, minimal harvesting pressure and allowed for optimum picking. The wines have intensity and freshness coupled with a fine tannin structure.

This vintage is 100% Merlot. It is made up of a few individual parcels that are all fermented separately before undergoing malolactic fermentation in 300 L barrels. After 6 months in barrel, the final components were selected and blended and put back to barrel for 12 months in 40% new French oak for further maturation before bottling.

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Meerlust Pinot Noir 2023

As with all our wines, the Pinot Noir is a true expression of the Meerlust Estate and illustrates the unique climate and soils of the farm. The wine draws fruit from blocks located on one of our four distinctive terroirs namely Compagniesdrift. The soils from this warm north facing slope are predominantly formed from weathered granite. The blocks are situated on the highest part of the estate and benefit from cool nights and a prevailing sea breeze that passes over the blocks in the afternoon. It's Meerlust's proximity to the False Bay, a mere 5km away, that enables us to produce this cool climate grape variety.

The 2023 Pinot Noir shows a vibrant garnet colour with a youthful appearance. On the nose the wine shows pronounced lifted floral perfume with a brooding and seductive red cherry, wild strawberry fruit with earthy wild mushrooms and hints of spice. On the palate there are very pure fruit flavours on entry with red cherry and musk flavours coupled with fresh acidity. The wine has a layered complexity with great elegance and finesse and a fine lacy almost powdery tannin on the finish.

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Wine tasting at Meerlust Estate

Our tasting room is open to receive visitors from Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm, and on Saturdays from 10h00 to 14h00.

  • Standard tasting (no booking required): We offer a tasting of our full range of wines, including the Rubicon at R75pp, which is refundable per person who purchase wine after their tasting.
  • Seated VIP tasting (booking required): Our VIP tasting will be presented by a senior member of the team, in our private seated tasting room. It includes our full range of current vintage wines, as well as an older vintage of Rubicon and one of our other Estate wines, these are served in Riedel varietal range glassware. A fee of R150 per person applies.

For bookings, please email

  +27.218433587       +27.218433274
Meerlust Estate Baden Powell Drive P.O. Box 7121 , Stellenbosch, 7599, South Africa