KWV The Mentors Shiraz 2011 vs. KWV Abraham Perold Insignis 2011

Non-identical twins.

Non-identical twins.

Recently KWV’s two top-end examples of Shiraz, The Mentors 2011 (R195 a bottle) and Abraham Perold Insignis 2011 (R600 a bottle). Drinking them side by side, I thought there was little to set them apart, both in terms of quality and style.

The Mentors 2011 is a blend of 83% Paarl, 10% Swartland and 7% Banghoek grapes and Abraham Perold Insignis 2011 a blend of 47% Paarl, 40% Swartland and 13% Banghoek. Both underwent 18 months maturation in 85% French and 15% American oak, 70% new, Insignis evidently a barrel selection of The Mentors but both apparently designed to be as plush as possible.

The Mentors 2011 showed black fruit, prominent vanilla, spice and a hint of pepper. It’s big and rich with moderate acidity and possessing a little more tannic grip of the two.

Score: 90/100.

Insignis, meanwhile, appeared to have slightly more nuance. An attractive floral note to go with red and black fruit on the nose. Good flavour intensity, slightly smoother and more polished overall.

Score: 91/100.

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