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Until the late 1970s most Cape winemakers made blended wines because they needed to use up the tanks of their least commercially acceptable varieties. If they had cabernet sauvignon — or at least enough to meet the very liberal requirements of the relatively new wine of origin scheme — they were certainly not going to blend it away. Rustenberg was the only producer which used more cabernet sauvignon than cinsaut in a blend — and then insisted on calling the wine “Dry Red”.

In those not-so-distant days there were no commercial merlot or cabernet franc vineyards. Then along came Welgemeend and shortly after Meerlust, both with plantings of these classic blending cultivars. Suddenly a red Bordeaux-style blend was a most desirable purchase. As merlot vines became more readily available (followed by cabernet franc, petit verdot and malbec) there were literally dozens of would-be challengers to the throne of Meerlust Rubicon. ..

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