On the basis that it’s important to know what’s the corporates are doing in order to properly guage the quality of the independents, the Durbanville Hills Merlot 2009 (R75) up against the Nederburg The Winemaster’s Reserve Merlot 2010 (R66).
Durbanville Hills Merlot 2009: 14/20
Plums and chocolate on the nose and palate. Medium bodied, smooth textured, moderate acidity. No great complexity.
Nederburg The Winemaster’s Reserve 2010: 14.5/20
Red and black fruit on the nose and palate. Juicy upfront with fresh acidity and soft tannins. Oak (or “oak alternatives” as the case may be) well judged. Inoffensive but rather simple and short.
Both wines were technically difficult to fault but utterly uninspiring and I think the pricing can be viewed as presumptuous.