Price:  £11.50 | Case Rate: £10.92
Ex Tax: £9.58

Rustenberg - RM Nicholson 2016


  • Country: South Africa
  • Wine Region: Stellenbosch
  • Wine Area: Simonsberg
  • Wine Maker: Randolph Christians
  • Grape: Cabernet Sauvignon Blend
  • Grape Percentage: 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Shiraz, 5% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 2% Malbec
  • Alcohol Percentage: 14.3%
  • Unit Quantity (ml): 750
  • Best To Drink: Drink Now - 2019.
Duty/Vat Paid
WA: 89 (2009) JR: 16 (2009) WS: 89 (2009) WE: 88 (2009) JP: 4 Stars (2009)

Wine tasting notes

Blackcurrant aromas are complemented by scents of dried herbs and notes of black pepper and spice, followed by a palate with serious structure from the Bordeaux varieties and finishing off with softness from the Shiraz. This wine is named for a former charismatic owner-winemaker, Reg Merriman Nicholson, who lived and worked on the farm for 30 years and was the creator of Rustenberg's famous "Dry Red" wine.

Winery Information


Rustenberg Estate, founded as long ago as 1682 on the slopes of the Simonsberg Mountain in Stellenbosch, stands proud as one of the true grandees of the South African wine trade. Current owners, the Barlow family, have been at Rustenberg for over 70 years – the longest period any one family has owned the farm. Their family ownership has transformed Rustenberg from a distinguished producer on the local scene to a new era South African standard setter on the international stage.

Expert Reviews

Wine Advocate/Robert Parker (2009)89 pts Aug 2011. Reviewer : Neal Martin. A blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Syrah with Bordeaux varieties, raised in 20% new oak (both French and American), the 2009 RM Nicholson has ripe, dark berry fruit on the vigorous nose with a hint of mocha. The palate is full-bodied with a firm grip and nicely focused, the oak deftly handled towards the tannic but fresh finish. It is a little chunky for sure, but well-crafted and almost Medocian in style. Drink 2012-2018. (2009)16 pts

Tasted May 2011 - Smoke, tomato leaf, very tannic. Not massively endearing – has a tannic, grippy finish that dominates at the moment. Should keep and develop well though – has the fruit power. Warm alcohol on the finish is a bit heavy-handed. (RH)

Wine Spectator (2009)89 pts

Issue: Web Only 2011 - Ripe and refined, with a cedar and toasty vanilla frame to the cassis, blackberry and dark plum fruit. Shows a flash of loam on the well-defined finish. Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec. Drink now through 2012.  ?JM

Wine Enthusiast (2009)88 pts

A heady and intense red blend composed mostly of Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz with touches of Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec, this wine offers a seriously firm structure with gripping tannins and a palate loaded with black plum skin, forest berries, cigar leaf and a hint of rosemary twig. The finish is long and reminiscent of French press coffee; try… — L.B. (11/1/2011)

John Platter (2009)4 stars

John Platter,, 4 Stars (2009) –"2009's blackcurrants spiced by dried herbs, fynbos. Terrific grip ex 50% cab; shiraz (42%), splashes p verdot, cab f, malbec add red fruit nuances, leafy tones. 16 mths Fr/Am, 20% new."

Vinification Notes

Small batches of selectively hand-picked fruit were carefully chosen to create this wine. Primary fermentation occurred in tanks, followed by Malolactic Fermentation (MLF) in 20% new French and American and 80% 2nd-fill barrels. Creative blending after 9 months, followed by a further 7 months oak maturation, ensured complete integration of wood with fruit aromas and flavours.