KWV Perold Insignis 2012

September 23, 2014
by Christian Eedes
in What I Drank Last Night
with 4 Comments

KWV logoYesterday 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.

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4 Comments

  1. Johann FourieSeptember 24, 2014 at 8:31 pmReply

    Hi Christian,

    The wine team enjoyed tasting with you on Monday.

    As you know we undertake regular benchmark tastings such as this, and in this case it was particularly relevant given that you judged at the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show. We do these types of tastings with external participants to challenge our ways of doing things with a view to continue our stylistic journey, and we appreciate your involvement and feedback.

    If I look at our current wines and compare those to the same wines of vintages from 5 years ago, it is very apparent that the degree of stylistic evolution over that period has been significant. I would say we are own biggest critics, and are constantly looking to improve our wines through different wine making methods, site selection, and on-going improvement of viticultural practice.

    Despite the assertion from your reader Joe, there is no “recipe approach” taken to our winemaking. In fact picking at standard potential alcohols I would say does in fact constitute a recipe. We pick on flavour, and will continue to do so, and the message that we took away from the Monday’s tasting will be to investigate and continue to refine our overall structure and balance, and look at finessing our cap management techniques.

    For the benefit of your readers, there were 37 wines tasted, all blind; and whilst your focus was a snap shot of 5 Shiraz, this was only a small aspect of the entire tasting.

    Thanks for your time, and look forward to repeating a similar exercise in the future.

    • Christian EedesSeptember 24, 2014 at 9:26 pmReplyAuthor

      Johann, It was super-cool to taste with you guys and the fact that you as the senior KWV winemaking team undertake such exercises deserves unqualified support and encouragement. For the record, and because it bears mentioning, my top two wines of the day were both from your stable: The Mentors Chardonnay 2011 (18/20) and The Mentors Chenin Blanc 2013 (18/10). That your whites seem better than your reds is a general theme when it comes to top-end SA wines….

  2. Hennie @ Batonage dot comSeptember 23, 2014 at 9:17 pmReply

    I agree with Joe – it would’ve been a much more worthwhile exercise getting a few more non-KWV palates involved.

  3. JoeSeptember 23, 2014 at 12:35 pmReply

    Judging by the average score vs. yours it is clear that the KWV team know their own wines intimately. Not knocking them, but I’d love to see some deviation from a standard recipe considering the quality of grapes/parcels they have access to.

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