When I interviewed outgoing KWV chief winemaker Richard Rowe for official Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show guide ICONS about The Mentors Petit Verdot 2011, he expressed excitement about the variety’s future in South Africa.
“It’s got an inherently low pH which is a real bonus under our generally warm growing conditions. In addition, the berries are small which means a high skin to pulp ratio and this increases the colour extraction potential.”
The Mentors Petit Verdot 2011 (R195 a bottle), which was best niche red on show, has a pH of 3.42 and is dead sexy. Black berries, attractive oak and violets on the nose. Great fruit purity, bright acidity and fine tannins. Very accomplished in the modern vein which appears to be the approach for all the reds in this range.