The 38th annual Nederburg Auction takes place on Friday 28 and Saturday 29 September and yesterday a media and trade preview of 52 of the 157 wines selected for sale. The overall quality level has been much higher recently – it had to be after total auction sales declined every year from 2005 to 2009.
As ever, whites better than reds. A partial explanation is that whites submitted must be at least two years old and reds five which means whites are always further along the learning curve that the local industry has been on in the modern era.
The Nederburg wines ranged from passable to very good. Scores and brief tasting notes below:
Private Bin D234 Sauvignon Blanc 2010: 15.5/20
Slight citrus note but already quite evolved. Rich and full with a smooth texture.
Private Bin D252 Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2010: 17/20
Understated. More about texture than any primary flavour. Well balanced.
Private Bin D266 Semillon 2009: 17/20
Complex with notes of citrus, honey and some pyrazine bite. Good weight, well balanced.
Private Bin D270 Chardonnay 2009: 14.5/20
Appeared slightly oxidized. Rather plain.
Private Bin S316 Weisser Riesling NLH 2001: 17/20
Lighter style. Well balanced. Elegant.
Private Bin Eminence 2001: 16/20
Typical Muscat fragrance, hint of eucalyptus. Broad, sweet and soft.
Private Bine Semillon NLH 2000: 16.5/20
Very rich and concentrated, smooth textured.
Private Bin Edelkeur 2007: 20/20
Intense apricot plus a botrytis derived mushroom-like note. Intense ,focused, balanced. Riveting acidity. Goose-bumps inducing stuff.
Private Bin Edelkeur 1977: 19/20
Dried apricots, molasses and plenty of developed savoury character. Gentle acidity. Very impressive but starting to tire ever so slightly.
Private Bin R181 Merlot 2004: 15/20
Some dark fruit, chocolate, firm tannins – starting to fade.
Private Bin R104 Petit Verdot 2001: 15/20
Black cherry, fresh acidity, very tannic.
Private Bin R163 Cabernet Sauvignon 2001: 16/20
Red fruit, some herbal character. Medium bodied.
Private Bin R163 Cabernet Sauvignon 2004: 17/20
Black fruit. Full bodied with fresh acidity and fine tannins.
Private Bin R121 Shiraz 2004: 17/20
Red fruit, some meaty character and spice. No longer primary but still very much together.
Private Bin R115 Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon 2000: 14.5/20
Developed. Some red fruit but generally hollow and hard.
Other stand-outs for me were the flamboyant Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2009 and the wonderfully complex Stellenrust 45 Chenin Blanc 2009. Among the reds, the Kanonkop Cabernet Sauvignon 1994 was predictably excellent. And to end the tasting, KWV Reserve Port 1929 which was magnificent, one of those wines which defies a tasting note. Only six bottles on auction, reserve price R3 000 a bottle.