KWV The Mentors new releases

November 21, 2017
by Christian
in What I Drank Last Night
with 2 Comments

The Mentors, the deluxe wine range from KWV, makes for an intriguing case study when it comes to marketing – it was essentially created in the mid-2000s to show that the former super co-op was capable of greatness and a crack winemaking team was put in place accordingly. The wines have always been smart enough but the brand probably still doesn’t have the cachet the KWV senior management would desire.

Vasari, the UK-based investment group headed up by Vivian Imerman, acquired KWV last year and it’s going to be interesting to see where they take The Mentors going forwards. It appears ambitions for the brand are as high as ever with winemaker Izelle van Blerk yesterday hosting a lunch at the Cape Town private residence of Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen, chef and proprietor of Michelin-star restaurant JAN in Nice, and his partner Gavin Bacon – Van der Westhuizen announced that wines from The Mentors range are to be listed at the restaurant which is the sort of exposure most brand managers can only dream of.

Van Blerk showed a wide selection of wines, the stand-outs as follows:

KWV The Mentors Chenin Blanc 2015
Price: R175
Grapes from Paarl. Matured for six months in older 500-litre barrels. Peach, apricot, pineapple, ginger and spice plus some yeasty complexity. Super-rich on the palate, tangy acidity lending drinkability.

Editor’s rating: 91/100.

KWV The Mentors Chardonnay 2015

Good job.

KWV The Mentors Chardonnay 2015
Price: R175
Grapes from Walker Bay. Matured for nine months in French oak, 50% new. White peach and citrus plus a hint of struck match on the nose. Pure fruit and fresh acidity, the finish long and pithy – text-book stuff.

Editor’s rating: 93/100.

KWV The Mentors Shiraz 2014
Price: R220
85% of grapes from Paarl, 15% Stellenbosch. Matured for 18 months in French and American oak, 70% new. Archetypal nose of red and black fruit, purple flowers, leather, pepper and vanilla. Rich and smooth textured yet not unduly sweet, nice fresh acidity again aiding drinkability.

Editor’s rating: 91/100.

To view images from yesterday’s event, click here.

Find our South African wine ratings database here.


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  1. ChristianNovember 22, 2017 at 5:25 pmReplyAuthor

    Hi Gert, In fairness to KWV, the pricing has always been relatively modest – prices of reds were R195 a bottle four or five years ago.

  2. Gert van WykNovember 22, 2017 at 5:17 amReply

    The price of these wines also seemed to have come down. Did the reds not sell for R350 odd?

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