That KWV should be considered among the very best producers in the country would have strained credibility not so long ago but the quality of wines under the flagship The Mentors label has now improved so much that a new release tasting is not only something to be anticipated with pleasure but also demands the highest rigour. Yesterday, the whites of 2011 and the reds of 2010 and I’m glad to report not a dud among them.
The Mentors Sauvignon Blanc 2011 – R120
Includes 15% Semillon. Very aromatic with notes of green melon, white peach and granadilla. The palate has breadth and length. Great concentration balanced by bright acidity. Perfectly conceived.
The Mentors Chardonnay 2011 – R120
Citrus, some pleasing leesy character and attractive oak on the nose and palate. Medium to full-bodied with bright acidity and great overall complexity. Has real interest.
The Mentors Grenache Blanc 2011 – R120
Aromas of blossom, peach and peach kernel. Rich but balanced by vibrant (hard?) acidity. Oak carefully judged. Savoury, almost saline finish. Feels a bit awkward at the moment.
The Mentors Semillon 2011 – R120
Hint of lime on otherwise shy nose. The palate shows juicy fruit and bright acidity but is currently very primary and difficult to read. At least 12 months off showing its true potential.
The Mentors Viognier 2011 – R120
White peach and blossom on the nose. The palate is medium bodied with restrained fruit and a hint of spice. Sherbet-like acidity.
The Mentors Orchestra 2010 – R180
48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Cabernet Franc, 17% Merlot, 9% Petit Verdot, 4% Malbec. Red and black fruit, attractive herbal note and pencil shavings on the nose. Good fruit concentration but not overdone. Bright acidity, firm but fine tannins. Juicy upfront, savoury finish. Really classy.
The Mentors Shiraz 2010 – R180
Complex nose showing lilies and spice as well as smoky, meaty notes. The palate is full-bodied but balanced with good fruit delineation and bright acidity. Complex and long. Big and bold but well resolved.
The Mentors Cabernet Franc 2010 – R180
Ripe dark fruit, violets and slight herbaceous note. Very rich and concentrated. Lush, sweet fruit and smooth tannins. Feels ‘hot’ on finish. Made in an ostentatious style.
The Mentors Canvas 2010 – R180
71% Shiraz, 15% Grenache, 5% Carignan, 4% Mourvèdre, 2% Tempranillo, 2% Cinsaut, 1% Viognier. Smoky, oaky notes as well as some floral perfume and fynbos on the nose. Sweet on entry, soft tannins, soft acidity. Lots of clean red fruit, touch of spice but somewhat simple overall.
The Mentors Pinotage 2010 – R180
Black cherry and milk chocolate on the nose. Very rich and ripe. Appears sweet, acidity soft but just about sufficient, tannins very smooth. Opulent style.