Yesterday I joined Richard Rowe, former chief winemaker and now brand ambassador for KWV, current chief winemaker Johann Fourie plus two other members of the winemaking team namely Louwritz Louw and Izelle van Blerk in a blind tasting to benchmark wines from their Mentors range against top performing wines from this year’s Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show as well as a few high-profile reference wines.
And so for instance the following examples of Shiraz (in the order that they were tasted):
Super Single Vineyards Mount Sutherland Syrah 2012
My score: 17.5 Average score: 15.8
Dark fruit, scrub and a hint of meatiness. Good concentration, fresh acidity and fine tannins. Overall impression is savoury.
KWV The Mentors Shiraz 2012
My score: 16.5 Average score: 17
Ripe black fruit, and pepper and oak. Super-concentrated with smooth tannins but balanced by fresh acidity.
Saronsberg Provenance 2012
My score: 16 Average score: 15.8
Slight reduced note on the nose. Sweet fruited with soft tannins.
KWV Perold Insignis 2012
My score: 17 Average score: 17.4
Red and black fruit and some fynbos on the nose. Rich and ripe but not unbalanced.
Porseleinberg Shiraz 2010
My score: 17.5 Average score: 16.4
Pronounced herbal note to go with red and black fruit plus a touch of earth. Medium bodied with lemon-like acidity. Has real interest.
Across the board, the KWV wines were made in a particular style – luscious fruit and soft tannins. I’m quite sure that these will find favour in certain sectors of the market but if the team covets awards then perhaps they need to pick half a degree of Balling earlier and extract just a little less.