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Durbanville Hills Merlot 2009 vs. Nederburg The Winemaster’s Reserve Merlot 2010

Dull as dishwater.

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.


  1. Morning C. Did the same Nederburg wine not receive a silver medal or something at the recent DECANTER awards? How do you explain that? Does that not again point to the inconsistency of competitions? Will

  2. Hi Will, According to DWWA, a sliver medal is awarded to a wine achieving a consensus score of 17 – 18.4 on the 20 point scale. If those involved think that the Nederburg is truly worthy of that then I want to see what they’d give Petrus from a good vintage…


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